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Sir Asutosh Mookerjee Gold Medalist, Griffith Prizeman, Caloutta University; 

Advocate, High Court, Caloutta ; Author, Some Ktatriya Tribes of Ancient India, 

Ancient Mid-Indian Ksatriya Tribes, The Life and Work of Buddhagfiosa, 

Geography of Early Buddhism, Heaven and Hell in Buddhist 

Perspective^ A Study of the MaJi&vastt, Women in Buddhist 

Literature, Historical Gleanings, The Buddhist 

Conception of Spirits, TJie Law of Gift in 

British India, etc., etc., 
Editor, Buddhistic Studies, 

With a Foreword by 

Professor of Indo-Iranian Languages, 
Miinchen University, Germany, 




38, Great Russell Street, 

London, W.C. 1. 


Thesis approved by the University of Calcutta for the, 
Griffith Memorial Prize in Letters for 1931. 


There can be no doubt that a new and ample treatment of 
the Pali literature is a great scientific want felt by all the 
scholars who are working in that field. Many problems con- 
nected with the subject are still unsolved. Not even the 
question of the origin and home of what we call Pali language 
and of its linguistic character is definitively settled, and the 
chronological order of a single book is very often uncertain. 
Professor Winternitz in his great work on Indian literature has 
described also the Pali literature in ah admirable manner. 
But the scope of his work did not allow him, of course, to enter 
into all the details and to discuss the many divergences of 
opinion. Malalasekera in his recent publication has confined 
himself to the Pali books composed in Ceylon. Hence the whole 
canonical literature was to be left aside. I was very much 
pleased, therefore, when I heard that Dr. Bimala Churn Law 
had intended to publish a comprehensive work on Pali literature. 
We all know his former publications on Buddhist topics and 
their intrinsic value, and I repeatedly congratulated him on 
the happy choice of his themes and on the clever manner in 
which he had accomplished his task. I was even more pleased 
when I had the opportunity to peruse a good deal of the manus- 
cript of the present work. It will prove to be extremely useful 
to all the Pali scholars by the sober and impartial judgment 
of the author and by the clear and exhaustive exposition of 
the various problems. Above all I wish to point at the important 
discussion of the relative chronology of the canonical texts, 
which means a considerable progress beyond what Rhys Davids 
has said on the subject, and at the ample and very clear 
summaries of the Tipitaka books which will be welcome to 
those who are unable to read them in the original language but 
wish to become acquainted with their general plan and contents. 
I frankly say that I found all I could read extremely suggestive 
and I am convinced that I shall learn much from the book 
even where my opinion may perhaps differ from that of the 

16-2-32. WILH. GEIGBE. 


* Scholars intere^ed in Buddhism have no doubt felt a great 
want of an exhaustive treatment of Pali literature. I have, 
therefore, attempted for the first^time to supply the need of a 
detailed and systematic history of Pali literature in two volumes. 
Drs. M. H. Bode and G. P. Malalasekera have published their 
respective monographs on the Pali literature of Burma and of 
Ceylon. Drs. (reiger and Winternitz have also given us a brief 
survey of Pali literature in their respective works, " Pah' Literatur 
und sprache " and '' Geschichte der Indischen Literatur die 
Buddhistische literatur und die Jleiligfin texte der Jainas 
(1920) ". But my treatment of the subject is entirely different 
from those of my predecessors. The first volume deals with 
the chronology and general history of the Pali Pitakas. In the 
Introduction to this volume I have briefly discussed the origin 
of t Pali and the importance of the study of Pali as one of the 
Indian languages. A systematic and critical treatment of the 
puzzling problem of the chronology of the Pali canon follows 
next, throwing a new light on this intricate and difficult subject. 
1 have tried to discuss at some length the date and com- 
position of each and every book included in the Pali canon. 
This volume contains a critical exposition of the Vinaya Pitaka. 
An elaborate treatment of the Sutta Pitaka consisting of the 
five nikayas, the Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Ahguttara, and 
KJmddaka has received the attention it deserves. I have also 
taken cart; to point out the peculiarities of the style and language 
in which each suttanta has been written. Under each suttanta 
and under each nikaya the ancient and modern literature hitherto 
published has been noticed. In the section on the Abhidhamma 
Pitaka, I have noted the significance and importance of the 
Abhidhamrna treatises not without paying attention fco the 
style and language of the Abhidhamma texts. The Pali counter- 
parts of the Abhidhamma books of the Sarvastivada School 
have been dealt with in the last chapter of the first volume. 
I have everywhere considered it worth while to mention the 
available printed editions, manuscripts, and different recensions 
of each sutta noting the points of textual variations wherever 
possible. An attempt has been made to collect the parallel 
passages by way of comparison from other literatures wherever 

The second volume which treats of post-canonical Pali litera- 
ture is devoted to the study of extra canonical works pre- 
supposed by the Pali commentaries, th Pali chronicles, the 
Pali manuals, the Pali literary pieces, the Pah* grammars 3 
loxicpgraphies, and works on rhetoric. In the concluding chapter 

vi Preface 

I have tried to give a general survey of the whole book and 
traced the development of Pali poetry. I have given two 
appendices dealing with the Historical and Geographical re- 
ferences in the Pali Pitakas and the PSli tracts in the inscriptions, 
which, I believe, will be found useful. I have appended an index 
at the end for the convenience of readers. 1 have not fourd 
it necessary to deal with some of the unimportant books 
about which nothing much can be known, e.g., the Sarasamgaha 
(containing many points concerning Buddhism), the KamandakI 
(a book on polity), the Akkharasammohacheda (word book), 
the Sotabbamalini (containing edifying tales), the Takkabhasa 
(a book on logic), Amatakaravannana, Sucittalankara, Lanka- 
katha, Munigunalankara, Sarasamgaha, Rajadhirajavilasini, 
Dhammasattapakarana, Dabbaguna (pharmacology), Sarattha- 
samgaha, Sulacaraka, Sadhucaritodaya, Kosalabimbavannana, 
Sahassavatthupakarana; Lokappadipakasara, etc. 

The task which I have performed is, no doubt, beset with 
difficulties but I shall consider my labour amply rewarded if 
this treatise is found useful by scholars interested in Buddhist 
literature, history, and religion. 

I am grateful to Mrs. Rhys Davids and Dr. B. M. Barua 
for their valuable suggestions for the improvement of this 
work. Dr. W. Geiger has really laid me under a deep debt of 
gratitude by writing a foreword. 

I have to offer my sincere thanks to Dr. D. R. Bhandarkar, 
M.A., Ph.D., and Mr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, M.A., B.L., 
Barrister-at-Law, who have evinced a keen interest in the 
publication of this work. 

43, Kailas Bose Street, BIMALA CHURN LAW. 

Calcutta, the 22nd May, 1933. 













A. DlGHA NIKAYA .... ^0 










9 * I. The Orwin and home of Pali. The term 
Palibhasa 1 or Pali language is a comparatively 
modern coinage. Whether* the credit of this mis- 
leading coinage is due to the European Orientalists 
or to the latter-day Buddhist theras of Ceylon, 
Burma, and Siam, is still a matter of dispute. It is 
certain, however, that even up to the 6th or 7th 
century A.D., the term Pali does not appear to 
have gained currency as a nomenclature for any kind 
of language. Even if we look into the Culavamsa 
forming a later supplement to the Mahavariisa we 
find that the term Pali is used in it clearly in the 
sense of original Buddhist texts, the texts of the 
canon, as distinguished from the commentaries : 

' Palimattam idhanitam, natthi atthakatha 
idha' only the Pali has been brought over here 
from Ceylon but not the commentaries. In the 
commentaries themselves there are several passages^ 
in which the term Pali has been employed precisely 
in the sense of the original authoritative text of the 
canon. In the Visuddhimagga, for instance, we 
have at p. 107 * Idam sabbakarena neva Paliyam, na 
atthakathayam agatam, kevalam acariyamatanu- 

1 'Pah Pa rakkhane li; Pati, rakkhatiti, Paji Paliti ekacce. 
Tanti, Buddhavacanam, Panti, Pali. (Bhagavata vuccamanassa 
atthassa voharassa ca dlpanato saddoyeva Pali namati gan(hi- 
padesu vuttan 'ti AbhidhammaMhakathaya likhitaip); 
Pali saddo Palidhamme-talakapaliyampi ca 
Dissate pantiyam ceva-iti neyyam vijanata. 

Ayarh hi Palisaddo, Paliya attham upaparikkhanti 'ti adisu 
pariyattidhammasahkhate Palidhamme dissati ; ' Mahato talakassa 
paji ti adisu talakapaliyam Paliya nisidimsuti adisu patipatiya 
pisldimsuti attho, imasmim panatthe dhatuya kiccam natthi, 
patipatiko hi pantivacako Palisaddo; pariyattidhammavacake 
palisadde, attham pati, rakkhatiti paliti ca, antodakam rakkha- 
natthena mahato talakassa thira mahatl pali viva ti pali^ti ca, 
pakatthanam ukkatthanam slladiatthanam badhanato sabhavaiii- 
ruttibhavato Buddhadlhi bhasitatta ca, palfatthanam vacanappa- 
bandhanam all ti paliti ca nibbacanani veditabbani.' (Abhi- 
dhammappadipika suci. ) 

x Introduction 

sarena vuttam, tasma na sarato paccetabbam,' 
and also at page 450 of this work we read ' Imani 
tava paliyam : atthakathayam pana : annani pi- 
rupani aharitva '. A similar distinction between the 
Pali and the atthakatha on the f one hand a$d 
between the atthakatha and the acariyamata on 
the other is brought out by Buddhaghosa also in 
his Puggala-Panfiatti commentary in the use of 
such expressions as (1) Palimuttakena pana attha- 
kathanayena, p. 171 ; (2) atthakathamuttakena 
pana acariyanayena, p. 173 l . As a matter of 
fact, the earliest issue of the term Pali can be traced 
in the commentaries ^f Buddhaghosa and not in 
any earlier Buddhist writings. It is again in the 
commentaries that the term Pali came to be* re- 
garded as a synonym for Buddhavacana, Tri- 
pitaka, tanti, and pariyatti. The transition frdm 
Pali the text to Pali the language came about 
sooner or later by a natural process. Although the 
conscious attempt on the part of the commentators 
was to keep the term Pali dissociated from its 
Hrfguistic implication, they felt constrained to com- 
mit themselves to such an expression as tantibhasa 
in order to distinguish the language of the Pali 
or the text of the canon from Sihalabhasa or the 
Sinhalese language. The language of the Pali itself 
was characterised by them as Magadhinirutti or 
the Magadhi idiom. In tantibhasa they attained 
a coinage approaching Palibhasa or Pali language. 
And the other term Magadhi or Magadhinirutti 
was held out by them as a word of praise, claiming 
thereby as they actually did, that the Magadhi 
idiom of the Pali texts was the mulabhaa or the 
primary speech of all men. 2 

1 For other references see the P.T.S. Pali-English Dictionary, 
Sub voce Pali. 

2 Yinayavinicchaya-tika : ' Sakalajanasadharanaya mula- 
bhasaya ' (Quoted in Buddhadatta's Manuals, p. xiv, Kaccayana*s 
Pali Grammar, 'Sa M%adhimulabhasa naraya adikappika'). Visu- 
dhimagga, pp. 441-442, Sabhavaninittiya Magadhikaya sabbasat- 
tanam mulabhasaya. 

Introduction xi 

If it can thus be established that the use of 
the term Pali is not earlier than the writings of 
Buddhaghosa, and further that when it first came 
into use, it denoted texts of the canon and was 
kept dissociated from all linguistic implications, 
one must at once repudiate all modern attempts 
at the characterisation of the language of the 
canon by means of the sound similarity of Pali 
with Palli (a village) as idle ingenuity. To con- 
template Pali as the typical Buddha vacana or the 
text of the canon is chiefly to deal with the set 
formulations of Buddha's doctrine and discipline, 
the Buddha's mode of expression or presentation or 
exposition, apart from the question of language. 

The story of Magadhinirutti is a pure invention 
of the theras of Ceylon, if not exactly that of 
Buddhaghosa. It is very curious indeed how this 
myth had originated and gradually gained ground 
to mislead even the modern scientific investigators. 
One will look in vain through all the canonical 
texts and other earlier writings of the Buddhists 
for any hint to imagine that Magadhi was the 
dialect used by the Buddha as a sole medium at 
expression and that he had used no other dialect 
as the medium of instruction. It is no doubt 
claimed in some of the canonical texts that the 
Buddha was the boasted religious reformer of 
Magadha, Anga-Magadha constituting the Maga- 
dhan kingdom under the suzerainty of Bimbisara. 
But is it a sufficient reason to maintain that the 
Magadhika form of speech was the language of the 
Buddha and that of the Buddhist canon ? We are 
aware that much has been made of the Vinaya 
passage enjoining that the bhikkhus should pro- 
mulgate the teachings of the Buddha through 
'the medium of sakdnirutti instead of translating 
them into chandasa. The Vinaya passage reads : 

" Na bhikkhave Buddha vacanam chandaso aro- 
petabbam. Yo aropeyya, apatti dukkatassa. Anu- 
janami bhikkhave sakaya niruttiya Buddha vacanam 
pariyapunitum " (Cullavagga, V. 33. I, p. 139). 

xii Introduction 

Buddhaghosa interprets the term chandasa in 
the sense of the Sanskrit language which served 
as a diction of the Vedas (Vedam viya sakkata- 
bhasaya vacanamaggam) and the other term sakani- 
rutti is explained by him as signifying that form of 
the Magadhaka dialect which was used by the 
Buddha himself (ettha ,,sakaniruttinama samma- 
sambuddhena vuttappakaro Magadhako voharo- 
Samantapasadika, Cullavagga commentary, Sinha- 
lese edition, p. 306). 

Thus it is clear from Buddhaghosa's comment 
that he has taken the term chandasa indiscri- 
minately as a synonym*, for the Sanskrit language 
and the term sakanirutti as a synonym for the 
Magadhi dialect used as a medium of instruction 
(vacanamagga) by the Buddha. But we arc aware 
that the term sanskritabhdsd is of later origin, wo 
mean later than the time of the Buddha and Panini. 
In Panini's Astadhydyi, bhdsd (that is, Sanskrit lan- 
guage) is divided into Vedic (vaidika) and current 
(laukika) and by the term chandasa, Panini meant 
the Vedic language as distinguished from the current 
form of Sanskrit. It is precisely in this sense that the 
term chandasa was used, if it was used at all by the 
Buddha in the 6th century B.C. With the Buddha 
chandasa or Vedic language was the prototype of 
languages that had become archaic and obsolete, 
dead as distinguished from living speech. It is 
beyond our comprehension how Buddhaghosa went 
so far as to suggest that by the term sakanirutti, 
the Buddha meant his own medium of instruction 
and nothing but Magadhaka or the Magadhi dialect. 
Nothing would have been more distant from the 
intention of a rational thinker like the Buddha than 
to commit himself to such an opinion which is irra- 
tional, erroneous, and dogmatic. He could not 
have done so without doing violence to his position 
as a fcammaditthika and vibhajjavadin. To give 
out that the Magadhi is the only correct form of 
speech for the promulgation of his teachings and 
*every other dialect would be the incorrect form i^ a 

Introduction xiii 

micchaditthi or erroneous opinion which the Buddha 
would ever fight shy of. Buddhaghosa has misled 
us all. To rightly interpret the injunction of the 
Buddha, we should first of all look into the context. 
The circumstances that led the Buddha to lay down 
tBe injunction ^re stated as follows : 

tena kho pana samayena yamelutekula nama 
bhikkhu dve bhatika honti brahmanajatlka kalyana- 
vaca kalyanavakkarana. Te yena bhagava ten 'upa- 
samkamimsu, upasamkamitva bhagavantam abhi- 
vadetva ekamantam nisidimsu, ekamantam nisinna 


kho te bhikkhu bhagavantam etad avocum : etarahi 
bhante bhikkhu nananama nanugotta nanajacca 
nanakula pabbajita, te sakaya * niruttiya buddha- 
va<3anam dusenti. Handa mayam bhante buddha- 
vacanam chandaso aropemati. Vigarahi buddho 
bliagava. Kathan hi nama tumhe moghapurisa 
evam vakkhatha : handa mayam bhante buddha- 
vacanam chandaso aropemati ". . . . This passage 
may be translated into English thus At that time 
the two brothers who were bhikkhus of the yame- 
lutekula were of brahmin origin and spoke and talk- 
ed of good only. They approached the Buddha 
where he was and having approached the Blessed 
One saluted him and sat on one side. Those bhik- 
khus who were seated on one side spoke to the 
Blessed One thus, " Venerable sir, these bhikkhus 
who embraced pabbaja, possess different names 
and are of different lineages, births, and families. 
They are polluting the Buddha's words by preach- 
ing them in their own local dialects. And now 
Venerable sir, we shall render the Buddha's words 
into chandaso. " But the Buddha rebuked the 
bhikkhus thus, " How you foolish persons speak 
thus : And now Venerable sir we shall render the 
Buddha's words into chandaso (one who knows the 
Vedas) ". [Oldenberg, The Vinaya Pitakam, 
Vol. II, p. 139.] ', 

This goes to show that the Buddhist Frater-,, 
nity of the time was composed of "persons of diverse 
names, of diverse cultural groups, of diverse races, 

xvi Introduction 

designations ? Here, O Bhikkhus, it so happens 
that in some locality a thing is known by the name 
of Pati, in some by the name of Patta, in some by 
the name of Vittha, in some by the name of Sarava, 
in some by the name of Dharopa, in some by the 
name of Pona, and in some by tho- name of Pi&iia. 
Now the people of different localities pay too much 
attention and lay too much stress on the different 
names of the same word and boastfully say regard- 
ing their own form for the word : " This is the 
only correct form, and the others are incorrect." 
Thus a man, O Bhikkhus, pays too much attention 
to the local forms, and lays too much stress on the 
local designations.*. H6w, O Bhikkhus, a man does 
not pay too much attention to the local forms, and 
does not lay too much stress on the local designa- 
tions ? Here, O Bhikkhus, it so happens that a 
thing is known by different designations in different 
localities, in some by the name of Pati, in some 
by the name of Patta, in some by the name of 
Vittha, in some by the name of Sarava, in some by 
the name of Dharopa, in some by the name of Pona, 
>,nd in some by the name of Pisila. Now a man of 
a particular locality, when he is in other localities 
where different names of the same thing are in 
vogue, knowing that in different localities different 
names of the same thing are used conventionally 
by the gentlemen, uses different names in different 
localities without any attachment to his own local 
form. Thus a man does not pay too much atten- 
tion to the local forms, and does not lay too much 
stress on the local designations. Accordingly, it is 
stated that the local forms should not merit too 
much attention and the local designations should 
not be stressed too much. 

That which we are now taught to call the Pali 
language is a distinct Indian vehicle of expression 
standardised in the Theravada recension of the 
Buddhist canon and its commentaries and other 
auxiliary works which are current in Ceylon, Burma, 
and Siam. The history of Buddhism bears a clear 

Introduction xvii 

testimony to the fact that none of the other sects 
adopted or adhered to this particular vehicle of 
expression. The Theravadins or no-changers among 
the followers of the Buddha sighed in vain over the 
departure made by each new sect (Dlpavamsa, 
Oldenberg, Ch*Q>. V, Verses 42-44, 48-50) from that 
which was considered by hem to be the standard 
language, or the standard corpus of authentic texts 
or the standard mode of interpretation and in this 
respect it is the bhikkhus of the Vajjian origin who 
led the way. 1 

" Mahasamgftika bhikkhu vilomaratikamsu sasanam, 
bhinditva mulasamgaham annam akamsu samgahatp 
annattha samgahitam suttaxn annattha akarimsu te, 
attham dhamman ca bhindirasu ye nikayesu pancasu. 
pariyayadesitan capi atho nippariyayadesitam 
mtatthan c'eva neyyattham ajanitvana bhikkhavo 
afinam sandhaya bhanitam annattham thapayimsu te, 
byanjanacchayaya te bhikkhu bahu attham vinasayuxp. 
chaddetva ekadesan ca suttam vinayafi ca gambhiram 
patirupam suttavinaj^am tan ca afmam karimsu te. 
parivaram atthuddharam abhidhammappakaranaip 
patisambhidan ca niddesam ekadesan ca jatakam 
ettakam nissajjetvana annani akarimsu te. 
namam lingara parikkharam akappakaranani ca 
pakatibhavam vijahetva tan ca annam akamsu te " 

(Oldenberg, Dipavarasa, Verses 32-38, p. 36). 

The above stanzas may be thus translated: 

The bhikkhus of the Great Council made a compilation of the 
doctrine quite opposite to the true faith. They destroyed the 
original redaction of the dhamma and made a new redaction of the 
same. The sutta which has been placed in one place originally 
was placed by them in another place. They altered the meaning 
(attha) and the faith (dhamma) in the five nikayas. They not 
knowing what had been taught in long expositions nor without 
exposition, neither the natural meaning nor the suppressed meaning, 
gave a different meaning to that which had been said in connection 
with an altogether different thing. They altered a great deal of 
meaning under the shadow of letter. They discarded some portions 
of the sutta and of the profound vinaya and compiled different 
1 sutta and vinaya which had only the appearance of the genuine 
ones. They rejected the Parivara, that which enables one to arrive 
at the meaning, the Abhidhammapakarana, the Patisambhida, 
the Niddesa and some portions of the Jataka and composed new 
ones. They did away with the original rules regarding nouns/ 
genders, composition and the embellishments of style and made 
new ones. 

xviii Introduction 

According to Max Walleser, Pali is contracted 
from Patali or Padali and the assumption is that it 
was a language of Pataliputra. Dr. E. J. Thomas 
says that Dr. Walleser has not produced any evi- 
dence to show that Pali is ever used in the cpm- 
mentaries to indicate a language. What we want 
is at least a single example to show that the com- 
mentator was contrasting the Pali language with 
some other (E. J. Thomas' note on Dr. Walleser 
on the meaning of Pali, Indian Historical Quarterly, 
December, 1928 Miscellany). 

According to R. C. Childers, the internal evi- 
dence confirms that Pali was a vernacular of the 
people. The chaiige which Pali has undergone 
relatively to Sanskrit is almost wholly confined to 
vocabulary ; its alphabet is deficient in vowels, the 
dual is lost, some verbal roots are unrepresented 
while many vowel forms have disappeared. But 
the gain in other direction due to the latitude of 
phonetic change and the incorporation of new 
nouns and verbal forms is not inconsiderable. There 
is~no foreign element in Pali with the exception of 
( d> very few imported Dravidian nouns. It is on the 
whole in the same inflexional stage as Sanskrit 
and everything in its vocabulary, grammar and 
syntax can be explained from the sister tongue 
(Childers' Pali Dictionary, pp. xv-xvi). In the 
opinion of James Alwis, 1 Sanskrit was no longer the 
vernacular speech of the people when Buddhism 
arose. Pali was one of the dialects in current use 
in India. It was the language of Magadha. Many 
Pali theological terms have cognate expression in 
the brahmanic literature but the significations 
assigned to them are different in the two languages. 
Pali was retained more than two centuries after- 
wards till Asoka's time. The difference between,, 
the dialects of the inscriptions and that of the 
Pali ,text denotes that the former as a spoken 
language underwent changes while the latter became 

1 Vide the Buddhist Scriptures and their language. 

Introduction xix 

fixed in Ceylon as the sacred language of the scrip- 
tures. Mr. Alwis says that Magadhl is undoubtedly 
the correct and original name for Pali. It is clear, 
therefore, that he agrees with the view of Childers. 
H further poiitf s out that at the time of Gautama 
there were 16 dialects prevalent in India. Pre- 
ference was given to MagadhI. The Buddhist 
scriptures of the Hmayanists were written in that 
dialect. The existence of 35 works on Pali grammar 
in Ceylon shows the great attention paid to the 
language. The high antiquity of Pali, its refine- 
ment, its verbal and grammatical simplicity, its 
relationship with the oldest* language of the brah- 
mins, proves it to be a dialect of high antiquity. 
The? decline of Pali in Asia was co-existent with the 
decline of the religion taught through its medium. 
]>. Oldenberg rejects the mission of Mahinda as 
unhistorical and points out that the introduction 
of Pali into Ceylon was due to the influence of the 
people of KaliAga, He says that the home of the 
Pali language must be looked for more to the south 
than to the north of the Vindhya mountains (wiS<j 
Vinaya Pitaka, Intro., pp. i, foil., and p. liv). Sir 
George Grierson agrees with Windisch 1 in holding 
that literary Pali is Magadhl. Wintemitz supports 
this view. According to him, Pali is a language 
of literature which has been exclusively employed 
by the Buddhists and has sprung like every literary 
language more or less from an admixture of several 
dialects. Such a literary tongue is ultimately de- 
rived from one definite dialect. And this the 
MagadhI can very well be so that the tradition 
which makes Pali and Magadhl synonymous is 
not to be accepted literally but at the same time 
it rests on an historical basis. The literary language, 
'Pali, developed gradually and was probably fixed 

when it was reduced to writing in Ceylon under 

1 ttber den sprachlichen charakter des Pali in actes du xiv 
Congres International des Orientalistes, pt. I, pp. 252 foil, and 277 

xx Introduction 

Vattagamam (Views of Winternitz quoted by 
Mr. Nariman in his book " Literary History of 
Sanskrit Buddhism", pp. 213-214). Literary Pali 
was then spoken and was used as a medium of 
literary instruction in the University of Taxila. 
It was the language of the educated Buddhists 
and in a polished form would naturally be used 
by them for literary purposes (Bhandarkar Comme- 
moration Volume, 1917 The Home of Liter- 
ary Pali). Otto Franke points out that literary 
Pali cannot have had its home in the Eastern part 
of Northern Indi^. There are points of similarity 
and dissimilarity between literary Pali and the 
language of the Kharosthi documents of the North - 
Western India ; literary Pali has many points of 
difference as compared with the language of the 
inscriptions of the Deccan, and the language of the 
inscriptions of the western Madhyadesa shows most 
points of agreement with literary Pali though 
there are points of dissimilarity (Pali und Sanskrit, 
Ch. X, p. 138). According to Edward Miiller 
(.Pali Language, p. ix), in early times it was the 
north-west of Ceylon which was the seat of culture 
pointing to influence from Southern India and not 
to Aryan immigration from the Ganges valley. 
Westergaard * and Kuhn 2 connect Pali with the 
dialect of Ujjain, relying not merely on the con- 
nection with the Girnar dialect of Asokan inscrip- 
tions but also on the view that this was the mother 
tongue of Mahinda. W. Geiger regards Pali as 
a keine based on Ardhamagadhl. 3 Dr. H. Liiders 

1 t5"ber den altesten zeitraum der Indisehen Gesehichte, p. 87. 

2 Beitrage Ziir Pali Grammatik, p. 9. 

8 Prof. P. V. Bapat in his paper on the relation between Pali 
and Ardhamagadhl published in the Indian Historical Quarterly, 
March, 1928, has adequately shown that from the evidences of 
phonology, grammar, the relation of Ardhamagadhl vocabulary 
with thai of Sanskrit, Pali and Mahratti and the works of Katyayana 
<dnd Patanjali, it is not safe to come to the conclusion that Pali 
is a literary language based on Ardhamagadhl. Vide also " A 
Comparative Study of a few Jain Ardhamagadhl Texts with the 
Texts of the Buddhist Pali Canon " by Prof. P. V. Bapat in the 

Introduction xxi 

(Bruchstucke buddhistischer Dramen, pp. 40 ff.) 
suggests that the oldest Buddhist scriptures were 
composed in old Ardhamagadhi and that in part 
at least the existing Pali canon represents a transla- 
tion from the old Ardhamagadhi. Dr. Sten Konow 
says that the Vindhya tract is the home of Pali. 
He finds similarity in P|li and PaisacI Prakrit 
which seems to have been spoken in the country 
to the north of Vindhya. Sylvain Levi (Journal 
Asiatique, Ser. XX, 495 ff.) holds that we must 
recognise in Pali traces of a dialect in which sound 
changes had proceeded further than what is found 
in Pali. The Jains and Byddhi^ts used first one 
of the dialects of Magadha in* which consonant 
degradation had been in progress ; when finally they 
came to reduce their scriptures to permanent 
form, the Jains carried out a systematic reduction 
of intervocalic consonant to the Ya-sruti, while 
Buddhism acted in the opposite sense under the 
influence of Western elements which gained control 
over the church. Dr. Keith is right in pointing 
out that the argument of Levi rests on a number 
of peculiarities in Pali and Buddhist Sanskrit ifl 
which he holds we must see traces of the forms of 
words employed in the older version of the canon 
and supported by the analogous forms in inscrip- 
tions. Thus the Bhabru Edict contains the form 
' Laghulovade ' instead of ' Rahulovada ', ' Adhi- 
gicya ' instead of ' Adhikritya ', but the softening 
of ' k ' is rare in Pali and the retention of ' cy ' 
is alien to Pali. Besides he mentions ' Anadhape- 
dika ' instead of * Anathapindika ', * Maghadeviya 
Jataka ' instead of * Makhadeva Jataka ', * avayesi ' 
instead of ' avadesi ' and so forth. According to 
Rhys Davids, Pali was a literary dialect based on 
the spoken language of Kosala (Buddhist India, 
pp. 153-4). Rhys Davids further says that there 
existed a standard Kosalan speech in the 7tt and 

v .4 

Sir Ashutosh Mukerji Memorial Volume published by Prof. J. N. 
Samaddar, pt. II, pp. 91-105. 

xxii Introduction 

6th centuries B.C., which was the speech of the 
Buddha and the Pali scriptures were in the main 
composed within a century after the Buddha's 
death in this Kosalan country. The Asokan inscrip- 
tions prove the existence of a standard language 
which is a younger form of the standard Kosalan. 
Dr. Keith ably points qut that there is no reason 
whatever to accept the view that the language 
of Asoka's Magadhan empire was Kosalan or to 
accept the suggestion that Kosala became a part 
of Magadha by the peaceful succession of the 
Magadhan ruler to the Kosalan throne with the 
result that the language of Kosala prevailed over 
the language of Magadha. Rhys Davids ignores 
the conclusive evidence of the Bhabru inscription 
which shows that Asoka did not follow a Pali 
canon even if he knew a canon and if he adapted 
his own language to give titles of canonical texts, 
we cannot doubt that his contemporaries would 
also hand down the text adapted in language to the 
speech of the day in accordance with the prob- 
able intention of the Master himself. Dr. Keith 
further criticises Rhys Davids by saying that the 
facts revealed a different aspect. The Buddha 
preached in dialect which we cannot define because 
we have no authentic information, it may have 
been standard Kosalan or Magadhan dialect but 
we "have no knowledge to decide or to describe 
their characteristics. The Asokan official or 
standard speech cannot be styled Magadhi but 
Ardhamagadhi. But this Ardhamagadhi or other 
Magadhan dialect is not reproduced in Pali. The 
basis of Pali is some western dialect and in its 
literary form as shown in the Pali canon, we have 
a decidedly artificial composite product doubtless 
largely affected by Sanskrit and substantially re- 
moved from a true vernacular. But it must be 
notedc as against Rhys Davids that the forms of 
JPali are not historically the oldest of those known 
to us. Even in the case of the Girnar dialect 
of the Asokan inscriptions, it is impossible 

Introduction xxiii 

establish the priority of Pali in view of such pheno- 
mena as the retention of long vowels before double 
consonants and traces of the retention of ' r ' in 
certain consonantal combinations as well as the 
use of ' st ' where Pali assimilates ; moreover that 
dialect appear,^ to have maintained a distinction 
for sometime between tjie palatal and lingual 
sibilants. There is, therefore, nothing whatever 
in the linguistic facts to throw doubt about the 
date above suggested. (Pali, the Language of the 
Southern Buddhists, published in the Indian 
Historical Quarterly, September, 1925.) Mrs. Rhys 
Davids points out that Pali js not* the name of any 
localizable tongue. Pali means* 'row'. She says 
thai we have it in the name of the famous courtesan 
convert Ambapall (Mango-orchard-er lit. mango- 
rQwer) whose birth tradition suggested her name and 
she also quotes the Visudhimagga to show that the 
teeth are said to be in a paH (dantapali). She 
further says that it is almost in juxtaposition to 
this term that we read, " Give him the Pali of the 
32 bodily parts to learn ", in other words, gi^e 
him either a written leaf of that list of parts of 
merely the repeated " row " of terms. She is 
much against the theory that Pali is only another 
name for Magadhese, i.e., the Prakrit spoken in 
Asoka's day at Patna. According to her, it is 
truer to say that in Pali, here and there, we find 
forms of Magadhi and Ardhamagadhi peeping out, 
than that Pali has its base in them and them only. 
When India was bookless and laboriously punching 
letters on little metalplates, she was cutting shapes in 
stones she was carving. For these two operations she 
appears to have had but the one word ' fikh ', * lekh % 
to scratch or incise. We began our writing relatively 
> earlier; we had the two words. With the growing 
need, and the new material for setting down not 
mere lists, donations, contracts in writing, but also 
the expanded masses of her mantras, there came to- 
pass the new and impressive phenomenon of seeing 
that which had been a time-series in air, become 

xxiv Introduction 

a " row " of things in space. And for a long time 
it remained customary to allude to the two series in 
juxtaposition : the " row " as not the ' talk on the 
meaning ' (atthakatha). Still later, when more were 
learning to read the row, the word ' reading ' (patha) 
was substituted for the word *r6w', e.g., ""tie 
reading is also thus ", alluding to variant readings, 
" ayam pi patho ". But not at first ; and so in 
Pali, in default of an alternative term for graphic 
presentation, we have emphasis thrown not on to 
the handicraft, as in lekhana, likhi, but on to 
the thing produced by handicraft, the visible, 
finished act. PaK is just " Text " and there is no 
reason to believe fliat it was ever more than that. 
(Sakya or Buddhist Origins by Mrs. Rhys Davids, 
App. I, pp. 429-30.) Prof. Turner says that accord- 
ing to some the meaning of Pali has been extended 
to cover all the cognate Middle Indian dialects 
found in the inscriptions and other documents. 
Pali, in its earliest texts, is a language of mixed 
dialectical forms, some common to both north- 
western and eastern dialects ; others peculiarly 
eastern. These may be due to the influence of an 
original -recension in an eastern dialect or to the 
general influence of the eastern vernaculars on the 
other Indo- Aryan languages, especially during the 
predominance of the Mauryan empire with its 
eastern capital. Its main characteristics are those 
of a western dialect. Tradition has it that the 
Buddhist Scriptures were brought to Ceylon by 
Asoka's son, Mahinda, who had spent his child- 
hood in Ujjem. In Ceylon the study and the use 
of Pali which died out in India, was prosecuted by 
the Buddhists and carried thence to Burma and 
Siam, where it still remains to some extent the 
language of literature or at least of religion. (Pali 
Language and Literature, The Encyclopaedia Bri- 
tannitfa, 14th Edition, Vol. XVII, 145-146.) Taking 
Jnto consideration the fact that the Buddha and 
Mahayira were natives of the East, some presume 
that in their discourses they must have used ^ the 

Introduction xxv 

eastern or Pracya dialect. It is difficult to say what 
is that, because we have contemporary records of 
the earlier speech. Thus we find various theories 
regarding the original home of the Pali language. 
It te difficult to come to a definite conclusion about 
it/ All attempt^ to ascertain the dialect which the 
Buddha made the medium ,of his instructions have 
proved futile. We think that Pali is based on a 
western form of the Indian Prakritic dialects parti- 
cularly the form which tallied with the dialect of 
the Girnar version of Asoka's Rock Edicts and 
to some extent with the Saurasen! prakrit as known 
to the grammarians. On examining the Pali cano- 
nical texts it will be clear that" the tendency of 
Pali* is to steer clear of Magadhism. The instances 
of Magadhism cited from the Pali texts, e.g., " sukhe- 
dujkkhe jivasattame ", " akata akata vidha " (Digha 
Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 56), " N'atthi attakare n'atthi 
parakare, n'atthi purisa-kare ", (Digha, Vol. I, 
p. 53) do not affect the character of Pali as these 
occur where the doctrines of other contemporary 
teachers, e.g., Pakudha Kaccayana and MakkhaM 
GosJlla have been quoted and discussed. It is" 
important to observe that these forms do not occur 
in those places where the doctrines of Pakudha 
Kaccayana and Makkhali Gosala have been restated 
in their own language, i.e., in Pali. The exceptional 
forms, e.g., Isigili for Isigiri (Majjhima Nikaya, 
Vol. Ill, pt. i, p. 68) do not lend support to the 
argument in favour of the influence of Magadhism 
in Pali, Isigili being explained as a Magadhi spelling 
retained for a very special reason (vide B. M. Barua's 
Old Brahml Inscriptions in the Udayagiri and 
Khandagiri Caves, p. 165). In order to arrive at a 
definite conclusion regarding the origin of the Pali 
language, it will be necessary to leave aside not 
only the instances of Magadhism noted above but 
also some of the Prakrit and Vedic survivals in the 
gathas, e.g., vaddha for vrddha, netave for netum^. 
pahatave for pahatum, these forms being altoge- 
ther ^absent in the Pali prose portions. 

xxvi Introduction 

2. Importance of the Study of Pali. The study 
of Pali is essential for the reconstruction of the 
history of Ancient India. Pali literature is vast 
and rich in materials which render an invaluable 
aid to the systematic study of ancient Indian 
history. There are many Pali Mboks buried *in 
manuscripts which are not easily procurable. The 
Pali commentaries furnish us with a great store- 
house of valuable information regarding the literary, 
linguistic, social, economic, political, architectural, 
and religious history of Ancient India. The psycho- 
ethical analysis of dhammas, the classification of 
various types of consciousness, mental processes, 
causal relations arid the like form a highly special 
contribution in Pali to Indian wisdom. The Acti- 
vities of one of the great religious reformers of 
India, namely Gotama Buddha, can be w^ll 
understood by a careful study of some of the books 
of the Pali Pitakas. To a student of the ancient 

history of India, the study of Pali is as important 
as that of Sanskrit and the Prakrits and in a sense 
more important as furnishing reliable data of 
Chronology. That Pali has not been so well studied 
in the east as in the west is evident from the publica- 
tions of the western scholars in this line. In the 
west, Trenckner, Clough, Spiegel, Westergaard, 
Childers, James Alwis, Fausboll, Anderson, Tur- 
nour, Bendall, Pischel, Minayeff, Edmund Hardy, 
Oldenberg, Kern, Bigandet, Richard Morris, H. C. 
Norman, T. W. Rhys Davids, C. A. F. Rhys Davids, 
Keith, Geiger, Walleser, Windisch, E. J. Carpenter, 
Robert Chalmers, La Vallee Poussin, Rouse, Warren, 
E. J. Thomas, Sir George Grierson, Otto Schrader, 
Arnold Taylor, Winternitz, Warren, Lesny, Sten 
Konow, Mabel Bode, Landsberg, Jacobi, Lanman, 
Burlingame, Grimm, Jackson, Moore, Steinthal, 
Strong, Stede, Helmer Smith, Sir Charles Eliot, 
LeonJFeer, Otto Franke, Frankfurter, James Woods, 
Woodward, J. Przyluski, and others have rendered 
immense services to the cause of Pali study by way 
of editing and translating many original Pali texts 

Introduction xxvii 

and publishing many valuable books on Buddhism. 
We are indeed grateful to T. W. Rhys Davids and 
C. A. F. Rhys Davids who have done really im- 
mense good to the world by publishing their learned 
researches in tfye field of Pali. No scholars have 
done so much work as they have done. The Pali 
Text Society of London under the able guidance of 
Rhys Davids is bound to be remembered by scholars 
interested in Buddhism and Buddhist history from 
generation to generation. In the school of Oriental 
studies, London Institution, Pali is taught as one 
of the subjects prescribed for study. In the east, 
the study of Pali is greatly ^progressing now. 
Scholars like Takakusu, Anesaki, Sujuki, Nagai, 
Wa^anabe, Buddhadatta, Haraprasad Shastri, Dhar- 
mananda Kosambi, B. M. Barua, the late Satish 
Cltandra Vidyabhusana, the late Sarat Chandra 
Das, C.I.E., the late Rev. Suriyagoda Sumangala, 
Bapat, the late Harmath De, Rev. Anagarika Dham- 
mapala, Shwe Zan Aung, Ledi Sadaw, Gooneratna, 
Jayatilaka, Narada, W. A. DeSilva, Tailang, Zoysa, 
P. Maung Tin, Malalasekera, Siddhartha, the latfe 
thavira Punnananda and a band of new enthusiasts 

materially helped and are helping the study of Pali. 
Our grateful thanks are due to His Majesty the King 
of Siain for removing a loiigfelt want by the publi- 
cation of the whole of the Pali Tripitaka, a precious 
work on Buddhism. We agree with Lord Chalmers 
who speaks of this edition in the following words : 
" In Pali scholarship the edition (the King of 
Siam's Edition of the Pali Tripitaka) will always 
remain a great landmark on the path of progress 
and an enduring monument alike in Europe and in 
Siam to the Buddhist King who conceived and 
executed so excellent an undertaking " (J.R.A.S., 
1898). Further bounties of His Majesty's family 
and kinsmen have found a permanent expression 
in the publication and free distribution of a oroyal 
edition of fully indexed commentaries of Buddha- 
ghosa and Dhammapala, the Milinda Panha and the 
Jatajsas. The noble example of the royal family 

xxviii Introduction 

of Siam has been followed in Ceylon by the publi- 
cation and free distribution of the Pali com- 
mentaries by a fund commemorating the name of 
the late lamented Dr. Hewavitarane, brother of the 
late Rev. Anagarika Dhammapala. ^ 

Ceylon, Burma, Siam, Chittagong, Japan, Korea, 
Tibet, China, and Mongolia are the countries largely 
inhabited by the Buddhists. The majority of the 
residents of Ceylon, Burma, Siam, and Chittagong 
study Pali. Besides, there are other places in India 
where Pali is studied. Pali is one of the verna- 
culars prescribed for study in many Indian Univer- 
sities, r 

It is gratifying to note that our Alma Mater, 
the University of Calcutta, under the guidance of 
its ablest Vice-Chancellor, the late Sir Asutosh 
Mookerjee, Kt., C.S.I., M.A., D.L., SaraswatI, Shas- 
travachaspati, Sambuddhagamacakkavatti, greatly 
furthered the study of Pali language and literature 
and it was he who encouraged students whole- 
heartedly to learn one of the great Oriental languages, 
amely Pali, in which the literature of Buddhism 
"has been written. His encouragement was a source 
of inspiration to the author and to all other students 
in all branches of study, and his death is a great 
loss not only to our Alma Mater but also to the 
whole of India. 



Rhys Davids in his Buddhist India (p. 188) 
has given a chronological talble of Buddhist litera- 
ture from the time of the Buddha to the time of 
Asoka which is as follows : 

1. The simple statements of Buddhist doc- 
trine now found, in identical words, in paragraphs 
or verses recurring in all the .books. 

2. Episodes found, in identical words, in 
two*r more of the existing books. 

3. The Silas, the Parayana, the Octades, the 

4. The Digha, Majjhima, Ahguttara, and Sam- 
yutta Nikayas. 

5. The Sutta Nipata, the Thera- and Therl- 
Gathas, the Udanas, and the Khuddakapatha. 

6. The Sutta vibhanga and the Khandhakas. 

7. The Jatakas and the Dhammapadas. 

8. The Niddesa, the Itivuttakas, and the 

9. The Peta- and Vimana-Vatthus, the Apa- 
danas, the Cariya Pitaka, and the Buddha Vamsa. 

10. The Abhidhamma books ; the last of 
which is the Kathavatthu and the earliest probably 
the Puggalapannatti. 

This chronological table of early Buddhist 
literature is too catechetical, too cut and dried and 
too general to be accepted in spite of its suggestive- 
ness as a sure guide to determination of the chrono- 
logy of the Pali Canonical texts. The Octades 
snid the Patimokkha are mentioned by Rhys Davids 
as literary compilations representing the third stage 
in the order of the chronology. The Pali title 
corresponding to his Octades is Atthakavagga, 
the Book of Eights. The Book of Eights, as we 
have it in the Mahaniddesa or in the fourth book 

2 A History of Pali Literature 

of the Sutta Nipata, is composed of 16 poetical dis- 
courses, only four of which share the common 
title of Atthaka, namely Guhatthaka, Dutthatthaka, . 

' t/ 7 74 

Suddhatthaka, and Paramatthaka and consist each 


of eight stanzas. That is to say, the four only 
out of the sixteen poems fulfil the definition of an 
Atthaka or octad, wb-ile none of the remaining 
poems consists as it ought to, of eight stanzas. 
The present Atthaka vagga composed of 16 poems 
may be safely placed anterior to both the Maha- 
niddesa and Sutta Nipata. But before cataloguing 
it as a compilation prior to the four nikayas and 
the Vinaya texts, ( it is -necessary to ascertain whether 
the Atthakavagga presupposed by the four nikayas 
was a book of four poems bearing each the*' title 
of Atthaka and consisting each of eight stanzas or it 
was even in its original form an anthology of* 16 
poems. Similarly in placing the Patimokkha in 
the same category with the Silas and Parayanas, 
it would be important to enquire whether the 
Patimokkha as a bare code of monastic rules was 
'then in existence or not, and even if it were then in 
existence, whether it contained in its original form 
227 rules or less than this number. There are 
clear passages in the Anguttara Nikaya to indicate 
that the earlier code was composed of one and 
half hundred rules or little more (Sadhikam diyad- 
dhasikkhapadasatam, A.N., Vol. 1, p. 232). As 
Buddhaghosa explains the Pali expression, " Sadhi- 
kam diyaddhasikkhapadasatam ", it means just 150 
rules. According to a more reasonable interpreta- 
tion the number implied in the expression must be 
taken to be more than 150 and less than 200. If the 
earlier code presupposed by the Anguttara passages 
was composed of rules near about 150 and even 
not 200, it may be pertinent to ask if the Pati- 
mokkha, as we now have it, was the very code 
tha*u had existed prior to the Anguttara Nikaya. 
Our doubt as to the antiquity of the Patimokkha 
as a bare code of rules is intensified by the tradi- 
tion recorded by Buddhaghosa in the introduc- 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 3 

tion to his Sumangalavilasini (pt. I, p. 17), that 
the two codes of the Patimokkha were to be counted 
among the books that were not rehearsed in the 
First Buddhist Council. 

The putting of the first four nikayas under 
head No. 4 with the implication that these were 
anterior to the Sutta Nipata^and the remaining books 
of the Pali Canon are no less open to dispute. With 
regard to the Digha Nikaya it has been directly 
pointed out by Buddhaghosa that the concluding 
verses of the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta relating 
to the redistribution of the Buddha's bodily re- 
mains were originally composed Jby the rehearsers 
of the Third Buddhist Council and added later 
on %j the Buddhist teachers of Ceylon. A material 
objection to putting the Digha and the Anguttara 
Nikayas in the same category is that in the Digha 
Nikaya the story of Mahagovinda (Digha, II, 
pp. 220 foil.) has assumed the earlier forms of Jata- 
kas characterised by the concluding identification 
of the Buddha, the narrator of the story, with its 
hero, while in the Anguttara Nikaya the story i 
a simple chronicle of seven purohitas without the 
identification. The four nikayas are interspersed 
with a number of legendary materials of the life 
of the Buddha which appear at once to be inven- 
tions of a later age when the Buddha came to be 
regarded and worshipped as a superhuman per- 
sonality (read The Life of Gotama the Buddha 
by E. H. Brewster). Our case is that without 
discriminating the different strata of literary accre- 
tions it will be dangerous to relegate all the four 
nikayas to the early stage of the Pali Canon. 

The Sutta Nipata figures prominently in the 
fifth order of the chronology suggested by Rhys 
Davids. Without disputing that there are numerous 
instances of archaism in the individual suttas or 
stanzas composing this anthology, we have Suffi- 
cient reasons to doubt that the anthology as a 
whole was at all anterior to the Niddesa which 
heads the list of the Pali Canonical texts representing 

4 A History of Pali Literature 

the eighth order. By the Niddesa we are to 
understand two separate exegetical works counted 
among the books of the Khuddaka Nikaya (1) 
the Mahaniddesa being a philological commentary 
on the poems of the Atthakavag^a (forming <the 
fourth book of the Sutta Nipata, and (2) the Cullanid- 
desa being a similar commentary on the poems 
of the Parayanavagga (forming the fifth or last 
book of the Sutta Nipata). The two questions l 
calling for an answer in this connection are (1) was 
the Mahaniddesa composed, being intended as 
a commentary on the Atthakavagga, the fourth 
book of the Sutta Nipata or on the Atthakavagga, 
then known to the Buddhist community as a dis- 
tinct anthology ? and (2) was the Cullanid&esa 
composed, being intended as a commentary on the 
Parayanavagga, the fifth book of the Sutta Nipata 
or on the Parayanavagga, then known to the 
Buddhist community as a distinct collection of 
poems ? With regard to the second question it 
may be pointed out that the poems of the Parayana 
group, as these are found in the Sutta Nipata, are 
prologued by 56 Vatthugathas, while the Cullanid- 
desa is found without these introductory stanzas. 
The inference as to the exclusion is based upon the 
fact that in the body of the Cullaniddesa, there is 
nowhere any gloss on any of the introductory 
stanzas. We notice, moreover, that the glosses 
of the Cullaniddesa are not confined to the 16 
poems of the Parayanavagga, the scheme of the 
Canonical commentary including an additional 
sutta, namely the Khaggavisana, which now forms 
the second sutta of the first book of the Sutta 
Nipata. From the place assigned to this particular 
sutta in the Cullaniddesa, it is evident that when 
the Cullaniddesa was composed, it passed as a de- v 

1 Vide B. M. Barua's Atthakavagga and Parayanavagga as 
two independent Buddhist anthologies Proceedings and Transac- 
tions of the Fourth Oriental Conference, Allahabad, 1928, pp. 211- 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 5 

tached sutta, not belonging to any particular group, 
such as the Uragavagga. The stray nature of the 
Khaggavisana Sutta may be taken as conclusive 
also from its mixed Sanskrit version in the Maha- 
vs^stu (Senart\ Edition, Vol. I, pp. 357-359), in 
which, too, it is not relegated to any group. If 
any legitimate hypothesist is to be made keeping 
the above facts in view it should be that the scheme 
of anthology in the Cullaniddesa rather shows the 
anthology of the Sutta Nipata yet in the making 
than presupposing it as a fait accompli. 

Even with regard to the first question con- 
cerning the chronological order o the Mahaniddesa 
and Sutta Nipata, a similar hypothesis may be 
enffertained without much fear of contradiction. 
The Mahaniddesa, according to its internal evidence, 
is*an exegetical treatise which was modelled on an 
earlier exegesis attempted by Mahakaccana on one 
of the suttas of the Atthakavagga, namely, the 
Magandiya Sutta (Cullaniddesa, pp. 197 ff.). The 
modern exegesis of Mahakaccana forming the corner- 
stone of the Mahaniddesa can be traced as a separate 
sutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, Vol. Ill, p. 9 where 
the sutta commented on by Mahakaccana is ex- 
pressly counted as a sutta of the Atthakavagga 
(Atthakavaggike Magandiya panhe). Once it is 
admitted that the Atthaka group of poems had 
existed as a distinct anthology even before the 
first redaction of the Samyutta Nikaya and Maha- 
kaccana' s model exegesis on one of its suttas and, 
moreover, that the Mahaniddesa as an exegetical 
work was entirely based upon that earlier model, 
it is far safer to think that the Mahaniddesa pre- 
supposes the Atthakavagga itself as a distinct 
collection of poems rather than as the Atthakavagga 
' of the Sutta Nipata. Though the scheme of antho- 
logy in the Mahaniddesa includes only the poems 
of the Attha group, there is a collateral evidfence^ 
to prove that in an earlier stage of Pali Canonical 
literature two stray poems were associated with 
those of the Atthaka group just in the same way 

6 A History of Pali Literature 

that the stray poem, Khaggavisana sutta, has been 
associated in the Cullaniddesa with the poems of 
the Parayana group. The Divyavadana, for in- 
stance, mentions that Purna an associate of sthavira 
Mahakatyayana, recited the Munig&tha and Saiia- 
gatha 1 along with the poems of Arthavagga (Pali 
Atthakavagga) with the* implication that the Muni- 
gatha (corresponding to Pali Munisutta) and Saila- 
gatha (corresponding to Pali Selasutta), included 
respectively in the Uragasutta, the first book, and 
in the Mahavagga, the third book of the Sutta Ni- 
pata, were associated with the poems of the Atthaka 
group. To put forward another argument the 
Nalaka Sutta in the third book of the Sutta Nipata 
is prologued by 20 Vatthugathas or introductory 
stanzas which are absent from its mixed Sanskrit 
version in the Mahavastu (Vol. Ill, pp. 386 foil., 
Nalakaprasna). Judged by the theme and metre 
of the Vatthugathas, they stand quite apart from 
the sutta proper. The sutta proper is a moral 
discourse of the Buddha which is quite on a par 
with several suttas in the Sutta Nipata and other 
texts, while in the Vatthugathas, we come to hit 
all of a sudden on a highly poetical composition 
serving as a historical model to the Buddhacarita 
of Aswaghosa. 2 The Moneya Sute (Moneyya Sutta) 
is one of the seven tracts recommended by King 
Asoka in his Bhabru Edict for the constant study 
of the Buddhists. This sutta has been rightly 
identified by Prof. D. Kosambi (Indian Antiquary, 
1912, Vol. XLI, pp. 37-40) with the Nalaka Sutta 
in the Sutta Nipata which, as pointed out above, 
has a counterpart in the Mahavastu (Mahavastu, 
Senart's Edition, Vol. II, pp. 30-43 and Vol. Ill, 
pp. 382 S.) where it does not bear any specific 
title. Judged by its theme, Moneyya Sutta is more 


r Cowell and Neil, p. 35. 

2 Vide Barua's Old Brahmi Inscriptions in the Udayagiri and 
Khandagiri Caves, p. 173, f.n. 

" Drstva ca tarn raj asu tarn striyasta 

jajvalyamanam vapusa $riya ca ". Buddhacarita, III, 23. 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 1 

an appropriate title than Nalaka. The importance 
of its naming as Nalaka arises only when the Vat- 
thugathas or the introductory stanzas are prefixed 
to the sutta without any logical connection between 
the* two. Considered in the light of Asoka's title 
Moneya Sute and the counterpart in the Maha- 
vastu as well as of the cle^r anticipation of Aswa- 
ghosa's Buddhacarita in the Vatthugathas, it ap- 
pears that the christening of the Moneyyasutta 
as Nalaka and the edition of the introductory 
stanzas took place sometime after Asoka's reign 
and not before. Some stanzas of the Padhana 
Sutta have been quoted in the Kathavatthu which, 
according to Buddhist tradition, was a compilation 
of lisokan time. The stanzas are quoted without 
any mention of the sutta or of the text on which 
thse have been drawn. The Pali version of the 
sutta is to be found only in the Sutta Nipata, 
Book III. The inference that can legitimately 
be drawn from the quotation is that the Padhana 
Sutta has existed in some form prior to the com- 
pilation of the Kathavatthu, leaving the question 
of the Sutta Nipata altogether open. 

The Khuddakapatha figures as the last book 
in the fifth order, it being supposed to be earlier 
than the Suttavibhanga, the Khandhakas, the 
Jatakas, the Dhammapadas, the Peta, and Vimaiia- 
vatthus as well as the Kathavatthu. Buddha- 
ghosa in the introduction to his Sumangalavilasini, 
informs us that the Dighabhaiiaka list of the Pali 
Canonical texts precluded these four books, namely, 
the Buddhavamsa, the Cariyapitaka, the Apadana, 
and the Khuddakapatha, while the Majjhimabha- 
naka list included the first three of them. The 
preclusion may be explained either as due to sec- 
tarian difference of opinion or due to the fact that 
when the Dighabhaiiaka list was drawn up, these 
four texts were non-existent. If a comparison 
be made between the Khuddakapatha and the 
Khandhakas, it will be noticed that the first short 
lesson (saranattayam) of the Khuddakapatha was 

8 A History of Pali Literature 

nothing but a ritualistic elaboration of an earlier 
refuge-formula that can be traced in a passage 
of the Khandhakas. The second lesson may be 
regarded as made up of an extract from another 
passage occurring in the Khandhabas. The same 
observation holds true also of the fourth lesson, tlie 
Kumarapanham. The gpurces being not mentioned, 
it is indecisive whether the Khuddakapatha has 
drawn upon the Khandhakas or on some isolated 
passages. But if judging by the nature of differ- 
ences in the common passages we are to pro- 
nounce our opinion on the relative chronology of 
the two texts, the priority must be accorded rather 
to the KhandhaKas than to the Khuddakapatha. 
The Tirokuddasutta of the Khuddakapatha isX;he 
first and most important sutta of the Petavatthu. 
Certain quotations in the Kathavatthu cleasly 
testify to the currency in the 3rd century B.C. of 
most of the verses composing this sutta. Here 
again we are to grope in the dark whether the 
quotations were from the Tirokndda as an isolated 
sutta or from a sutta in the Petavatthu or in the 
Khuddakapatha. If any inference may be drawn 
from the high prominence that it enjoys in the 
Petavatthu, our opinion will be rather in favour of 
priority of the Petavatthu. 

Now coming to the Kathavatthu, we have 
already mentioned that it contains certain signi- 
ficant quotations from two suttas, the Tirokudda 
and the Nidhikanda, both of which are embodied 
in the Khuddakapatha, but there is nothing to 
show that when the Kathavatthu was compiled 
with these quotations, the Khuddakapatha itself 
was then in actual existence, it being quite prob- 
able that the quotations were made from the two 
isolated suttas, we mean when these suttas had- 
not come to be included in the Khuddakapatha. 

/The Abhidhamma treatises figure as latest 

'compilations in the chronological table of Rhys 

Davids. Of the seven Abhidhamma books, the 

Kathavatthu is traditionally known as a com- 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 9 

pilation of A6okan age. The credibility of the 
tradition can be proved by a very peculiar dialectical 
style of composition developed in this all-important 
book of Buddhist Controversies and the traces of 
which can als^be found to linger in some of the 
inscriptions of Asoka, namely, the Kalsi, Shaha- 
bazgarhi and Manserah visions of the 9th Rock 
Edict (vide B. M. Barua's Old Brahmi Inscriptions, 
p. 284). Another and more convincing piece of 
evidence may be brought forward to prove the 
credibility of the tradition. Prior to the despatch 
of missionaries by Asoka, Buddhism as a religious 
movement was confined, mpre or less, within the 
territorial limits of what is known in Buddhist 
literature as the Middle Country (Majjhimadesa) 
and the Buddhist tradition in Pali is very definite on 
this point. The Saiici stupas which go back to 
the date of Asoka enshrine the relics of the mis- 
sionaries who were sent out to the Himalayan 
tracts as also of the " good man " Mogaliputa, 
aptly identified by Dr. Geiger with Moggaliputta 
Tissa, the traditional author of the Kathavatthu. 
Curiously enough, the Kathavatthu contains the 
account of a controversy (I, 3) in which it has been 
emphatically pointed out that up till the time 
of this particular controversy, the Buddhist mode 
of holy life remained confined to the places within 
the middle country and had not gained ground in 
any of the outlying tracts (paccantimesu jana- 
padesu), the representatives of Buddhism whether 
the monks or the laity having had no access to 
those regions (B. M. Barua, Old Brahmi Inscriptions, 
p. 284). The account clearly brings out one im- 
portant historical fact, namely, that so far as the 
outlying tracts were concerned, there were un- 
deniably at that time other modes of Indian holy 
life. It is interesting to find that the 13th Rock 
Edict of Asoka is in close agreement with* the 
Kathavatthu regarding this point. For in thii- 
important edict issued in about the 13th or 14th 
regnal year of King Asoka, His Sacred and Gracious 

10 A History of Pali Literature 

Majesty the King definitely says that there was 
at the time no other tract within his empire save 
and except the Yona region where the different 
sects of Indian recluses, the Samanas and Brah- 
manas were not to be found or where^-he inhabitants 
had not adhered to the tenets of one or other of 
those sects. (Vide Inscriptions of Asoka by Bhan- 
darkar and Majumdar, pp. 49-50 " Nathi cha 
she janapade yata nathi ime nikaya anamta yenesha 
bamhmane cha shamane cha nathi cha kuva pi 
janapadashi (ya) ta nathi manushanam ekatalashi 
pi pashadashi no iiama pashade ".) Squaring up 
the twofold evidence, *it is easy to come to the 
conclusion that he compilation of the Katha- 
vatthu could not be remote from the reign of Aso&a. 
In the Kathavatthu, there are quotations 
the sources of which can now be traced in some ef 
the passages in the Vmayapitaka, the Digha Nikaya, 
the Majjhima Nikaya, the Samyutta Nikaya, the 
Anguttara Nikaya, and some of the books of the 
Khuddaka Nikaya. A few of the quotations can 
be traced in the Dhammasangani and the Vibhanga 
among the Abhidhamma books. As the passages 
are quoted in the Kathavatthu without any mention 
of the sources, rather as well known and authorita- 
tive words of the Buddha, it cannot be definitely 
maintained that the quotations were cited from 
the canonical texts in which the individual passages 
are traceable. There were suttas in some definite 
collections but until other definite evidences arc 
forthcoming, it will be risky to identify them with 
the nikayas and the Vinaya texts as they are 
known to us. Even with regard to this point our 
position remains materially the same if we take 
our stand on the evidence of the Inscriptions of 
Asoka, particularly on that of the Bhabru Edict. 
The Bhabru Edict clearly points back to a well- 
known collection of Buddha's words, the words 
Vhich came to be believed as at once final and 
authoritative (e kemchi bhamte Bhagavata Budhena 
bhasite save se subhasite). But here again we 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 11 

are helpless as to by what name this collection was 
then designated and what were its divisions ? 
If such be the state of things, it will be difficult 
to regard all the Abhidhamma books in the lump 
as. the latest productions among the books of the 
Pali pitakas. 

As for the chronology of the Pali Canonical 
texts, the safer course will be to fix first of all the 
upper and lower limits and then to ascertain how 
the time may be apportioned between them in con- 
ceiving their chronological order. As regards the 
upper limit certain it is that we cannot think of 
any text on Buddhism before he enlightenment 
of the Buddha. Whatever be the actual date 
of \he individual texts, it is certainly posterior 
even to the subsequent incident of the first public 
statement or promulgation of the fundamental 
truths of the new religion. The upper limit may 
be shifted on even to the demise of the Buddha, 
the first formal collection of the teachings of the 
Buddha having taken place, according to the 
unanimity of the Buddhist tradition, after that 
memorable event. Looked at from this point of 
view, the period covered by the career of 45 years 
of the Buddha's active missionary work may be 
regarded just as the formative period which saw the 
fashioning of the early materials of the Buddhist 
Canon. With regard to the lower limit we need 
not bring it so far down as the time of the Pali 
scholiasts, Buddhadatta, Buddhaghosa, and Dham- 
mapala, that is to say, to the 5th century A.D. 
Going by the tradition, the Buddhist Canon became 
finally closed when it was committed to writing 
during the reign of King Vattagarnani of Ceylon 
(Circa 29-17 B.C.). 1 The truth of this tradition can 
be substantiated by the clear internal evidence 
of the text of the Milinda Panha which was a com- 
pilation of about the first century A.D. As i^ 
well known, in several passages, the author of the 

1 Dlpavamsa (Oldenberg), p. 103, Mahuvamsa (Geiger), p. 277. 

12 A History of Pali Literature 

Milinda Panha has referred to the Pali books or to 
some chapters of them by name and the number 
of books mentioned by name is sufficiently large 
to exhaust almost the traditional list. Further, 
it is evident from references in this/bext that w4\en 
it was compiled the division of the canon into three 
pitakas and five nikayas was well established. 1 
The Dhammasangani, the Vibhanga, the Dhatu- 
katha and the rest were precisely the seven books 
which composed the Abhidhamrnapitaka and the 
Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta, Ekuttara (Anguttara), 
and Khuddaka were the five nikayas which com- 
posed the Suttapitaka. The Sinhalese commen- 
taries, the Maha-atthakatha, the Mahapaccariya, 
the Maha-kurundiya, the Aiidhaka and the ^est 
presupposed by the commentaries of Buddhadatta, 
Buddhaghosa, and Dhammapala point to the saflie 
fact, namely, that the canon became finally closed 
sometime before the beginning of the Christian 
era. Thus we can safely fix the last quarter of the 
1st century B.C., as the lower limit. 

The interval of time between these two limits 
covers not less than four centuries during which 
there had been convened as many as six orthodox 
councils, three in India and three in Ceylon, the 
first during the reign of King Ajatasattu, the second 
in the reign of King Kalasoka (Kakavarni of the 
Puranas), the third in the reign of Asoka, the 
fourth in the reign of King Devanam Piyatissa of 
Ceylon, the fifth in the reign of King Dutthagamani 
and the sixth or the last in the reign of King Vat- 
tagamani. The Pali accounts of these councils 
make it clear that the purpose of each of them 
was the recital and settling of the canonical texts. 
If these councils can be regarded as certain defi- 
nite landmarks in the process of the development 
of Pali Canonical literature, we can say that during 
the^first four centuries after the Buddha's demise, 

1 Milinda Paftha (Trenckner ed.), pp. 13, 190, 348, 21, 18 
(tipitaka), 341 and 22 (Nikaya). 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 13 

Pali literature underwent as many as six successive 
redactions. Going by the dates assigned to these 
councils, we may divide the interval into such shorter 
periods of Pali literary history as shown below: 

.' First Pe^od (483-383 B.C.) 

Second Period (383-265 B.C.) 

Third Period (265-230 B.C.) 

Fourth Period (230-80 B.C.) 

Fifth Period (80-20 B.C.) 

Keeping these periods in view, we can easily 
dispose of some of the Pali books. We may take, 
for instance, the Parivarap^ha which is the last 
treatise to be included in the Vinayapitaka. This 
treatise, as clearly stated in the colophon (nigamana) 
was written in Ceylon by Dipa, evidently a learned 
Buddhist scholar of Ceylon as a help to his pupils 
to the study of the contents of the Vinaya. 1 As 
such the Parivarapatha was composed as a digest 
of the subject-matter of Vinaya or Buddhist disci- 
pline. We say that this treatise was composed 
in Ceylon because there are references within the 
text itself that it had been written after the Vinaya- 
pitaka was promulgated by Thera Mahinda and a 
number of his disciples and by their disciples in 
Ceylon. The succession of his disciples from the 
time of Thera Mahinda as set forth in the Pari- 
varapatha (pp. 2-3) may suffice to show that the 
date of its composition could not be much earlier 
than the reign of Vattagamani. Even we may go 
so far as to suggest that the Parivarapatha was the 
Vinaya treatise which was canonised at the council 
held during the reign of Vattagamani. For it is 
clearly stated in the colophon that the author 
caused the treatise to be written (likhapesi), 

1 Parivarapatha, Ed. Oldenborg, p. 220. 

" Pubbacariyarnaggaii ca pucchitva ' va tahim tahiih Dl- 
panamo mahapanilo sutadharo vicakkhano imam vittharasaiTikhe- 
parh sajjharnaggena majjhimo ointayitvti Hkhaposi sissakanam 1 
sukhavaham Pari varan ti yam vuttaih sabbam vatthum salak- 
khanarh atthaih atthomi saddhumme dhammam dhammena 
pafinatto. " 

14 A History of Pali Literature 

a mode of preserving the scriptures which would 
be inconceivable before the reign of Vattagamani. 
The reference to the island of Tambapanni or Ceylon 
is not only in the verses which one might set aside 
as interpolation but in the prose portions wbich 
form the integral parts of the text. 

Now if we fix our Attention 011 the traditional 
verses embodied in the Parivarapatha (pp. 2-3, 
edited by Oldenberg) we have to infer therefrom 
that the five nikayas, the seven treatises of the 
Abhidhammapitaka and all the older texts of the 
Vinayapitaka were made known to the people of 
Ceylon by the wise M^hinda who arrived in Ceylon 
from Jambudipa '(India) after the Third Buddhist 
Council had been over. 1 * 

The Mahavagga and the Cullavagga are two 
among the earlier and important texts of the Vinaya- 
pitaka. Twenty-two Khandhakas or stock frag- 
ments are distributed into the two texts, ten into 
the Mahavagga and the remaining 12 into the 
Cullavagga. These fragments constituting the se- 
parate divisions are arranged in a chronological 
order, and they are intended to present a con- 
nected account of the ecclesiastical history of the 
Buddhists from the time of the enlightenment of 
the Buddha down to that of the Second Buddhist 
Council which was convened, according to the 
Cullavagga account, a century after the demise 
of the Buddha (Vassasataparinibbute Bhagavati). 
The growth of the two texts may be sought to be 
accounted for by these two hypotheses ; (1) that the 
Khandhakas were being added as they came into 
existence from time to time, or (2) that they were 
arranged all at the same time according to a set 
plan. Whatever be the actual merit of these 

1 Parivarapatha, pp. 2-3. 

JwUpali Dasako c'eva Sonako Siggavo tatha Moggaliputtena 

'^ancama ete Jambusirivhaye tato Mahindo Ittiyo Uttiyo Sambalo 

tatha Bhaddanamo ca pandito ete naga mahapanna Jambudipa 

idhagata, Vinayaih te vaeayimsu pit-akarh Tambapanniya nikaye 

pafica vacesum satta c'eva pakarane. " 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 15 

hypotheses, none of them prevents us from main- 
taining that the series of the Khandhakas was 
closed with the inclusion of the account of the 
Second Buddhist Council and that nothing material 
was added afi\r that, nothing, we mean to say, 
except the Uddanas or mnemonics in doggerel 
verses appended to each of , the Khandhakas. Had 
the compilation of the Khandhakas remained open 
after the Second Buddhist Council, it would have 
included an account of the later councils, particular- 
ly of one held during the reign of Asoka. This 
line of argument is sufficiently strong to establish 
that the date of compilation of the twenty-two 
Khandhakas as we find them embodied in the 
Mahavagga and Cullavagga was anterior to the 
reign of Asoka, as well as that its history is pri- 
marily associated with the tradition of the Second 
Buddhist Council. Assuming then that the closing 
of the collection of the Khandhakas in the shape 
of the Mahavagga and the Cullavagga could not 
be removed from the 1st century of the Buddha 
era, we may briefly examine what inferences can 
be drawn from the Cullavagga accounts of the 
first and second Buddhist councils regarding the 
development of the canonical texts. First with 
regard to the earlier Vinaya texts, the Cullavagga 
account of the Second Buddhist Council (Chap. 12) 
has referred to the following authorities by name, 

(1) Savatthiya Suttavibhanga 

(2) Rajagahe 

(3) Savatthiya 

(4) Savatthiya sutta 

(5) Kosambiya 

(6) Savatthiya 

(7) Rajagahe 

(8) Rajagahe uposathasamyutte 

(9) Campeyyake Vinaya Vatthusmin 

The Suttavibhanga passages referred to in the 
Cullavagga account have been found out by Prof. 


16 A History of Pali Literature 

Oldenberg in the Suttavibhanga and what is more, 
the identified passages have satisfied the context 
supplied (Savatthiya, Rajagahe, Kosambiya). 
Keeping this fact in view, can it be doubted that the 
Suttavibhanga of the Vinayapital3i was current 
as an authoritative text on Vinaya when the Culla- 
vagga account referring to its passages was written ? 
Now with regard to the remaining two references, 
namely, Rajagahe, Uposathasamyutte and Cam- 
peyyake Vinayavatthusmin traced respectively in 
the Mahavagga (II, 8, 3) and Mahavagga (IX, 
3, 5), it is curious that the first reference is to a 
Samyutta passage, and the second to a Vinaya- 
vatthu. Although the Samyutta passage has found 
its place in the Mahavagga, so long as the fact 
remains that the reference is to a passage in the 
Sutta Collection, our inference must be that tfte 
Mahavagga in its extant form was not yet in exis- 
tence. The second reference is important as point- 
ing back to the existence of certain Vmayavatthus 
serving as materials for a compilation like the 

Turning at last to the Cullavagga account of 
the First Buddhist Council, it will be a mistake to 
suppose that the account as we have it in the 
Cullavagga is as old as the time of the council 
itself. The account must have been posterior to 
the time when the scriptural authorities of the 
Buddhist community comprised (1) Ubhato Vinaya 
the disciplinary code of the bliikkhus, the disci- 
plinary code of the bhikkhums, and (2) Panca- 
nikaya the five nikayas, Digha, Majjhima and 
the rest. Some of the Burmese manuscripts read 
Ubhato Vibhanga in lieu of Ubhato Vinaya. 1 That 
may be a mistake. But the contents mentioned 
in the Cullavagga account are undoubtedly the 
contents of the two Vibhangas, the Bhikkhu and the 

1 It may be observed that in giving an account of the First 
Buddhist Council, Buddhaghosa makes mention of Ubhato Vibhanga 
signifying thereby the whole text of the Suttavibhafufa completed 
in 64 bhunavaras (Surnangalavilasinl, pi. I, p. 13). 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 17 

Bhikkhum. The list of the Sikkhapadas codified 
as bare rules in the two Patimokkhas is important 
as showing that the author of the Cullavagga 

'account kept hi his mind nothing but the Sutta- 
vibhanga with \its two divisions : the Bhikkhu- 
VibTmriga and the Bhikkhuni-Vibhanga. Further, 
when this account was written, the five nikayas were 
well known. But the contents mentioned are found 
to be only those of the first two suttas of the Digha 
Nikaya, Vol. I, we mean the Brahmajala and the 
Samannaphala Suttantas. In the absence of the 
remaining details and of the names of the separate 
texts it is impossible to say that the Digha Nikaya 
as presupposed was completed in all the three 
volumes as we now get or the five nikayas as pre- 
supposed contained all the 14 suttanta texts as 
we*iow have them. One thing, however, is certain 
that there is yet no reference to the Abhidhamira 
treatises. For the reference to the Abhidhamma- 
pitaka we have to look into tiie uddanagathas in 

.which there is mention of the three pitakas (Pitakam 
tim). But nothing should be built upon it with 
regard to the development of canonical texts in 
so early period as this on the strength of these 
uddanagathas which are apparently later additions. 
The line of investigation hitherto followed 
has compelled us to conclude that the Suttavi- 
bhanga with its two great divisions, e.g. the Bhikkhu 
and the Bhikkhum Vibharigas, were extant as 
authoritative texts on the questions of Vinaya 
previous to the compilation of the Mahavagga 
and the Cullavagga. The historical references that 
may be traced in the Suttavibhanga appertain all 
to earlier times and cannot, therefore, justify us 
in assigning the text to a period far removed from 
the demise of the Buddha. But we have still 
to enquire whether or not the Suttavibhanga can 
be regarded as the first and the earliest landmr ' 
of the Vinaya tracts. It may be sound to pre- 
mise that the first landmark of the Vinayapitaka 
is not the first landmark of the Vinaya tracts. 


18 A History of Pali Literature 

The point at issue really is whether or not the text 
of the Suttavibhanga forming the first landmark 
of the Vinayapitaka presupposes certain earlier 
literary developments and if so, where can this 
be traced. This is to ask serious^ what was the 
earlier and more probable denotation of the term 
iuJbhato vinaya 9 the two-fold Vinaya. If we decline 
to interpret it in the sense of two-fold Vibhahga, 
we must be raising this important issue just to 
remove an anomaly arising from the two-fold 
signification of the Pancanikaya divisions of the 
Pali Canon. Buddhaghosa, the great Pali scholiast, 
says that in their narrower signification the five 
nikayas denoted the five divisions of the texts of 
the Suttapitaka, and that in their wider significa- 
tion the five nikayas included also the texts of 
the remaining two pitakas, namely, the Vinaya 
and the Abhidhamma, the Vinaya and Abhidhamma 
treatises being supposed to be included in the 
Khuddaka Nikaya (Sumangalavilasini, pt. 1, p. 23, 
cf. Atthasalim, p. 26 ; Katamo Khuddakanikayo ? 
Sakalam Vinayapitakam Abhidhammapitakam 
Khuddakapatha-dayo ca pubbe-nidassita-panca- 
dasa-bheda (pubbe dassita-cuddasappabheda iti 
pathantaram), thapetva cattaro nikaye avasesa- 
buddhavacanam). Buddhaghosa also informs us 
that the Anumana-sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya 
was known to the ancients as bhikkhuvinaya and the 
Singalovada-sutta of the Digha Nikaya was venerat- 
ed as gihivinaya. 1 If such terms as bhikkhuvinaya 
and gihivinaya had been current among the 
Buddhists of olden times, it is pertinent to enquire 
whether the expression " the two-fold Vinaya " 
was originally used to denote the bhikkhuvinaya 
and bhikkhunivinaya or the bhikkhuvinaya and gihi- 

If we examine the contents of the Anguttara 
or the Ekuttara Nikaya, we need not be surprised 

1 A note on the Bhabra Edict, J.R.A.S., October, 1916, pp. 805- 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 19 

to find that Anguttara Nikaya abounds in the Vinaya 
passages. In each nipata of this nikaya we come 
across passages relating to the two-fold Vinaya, 
namely, the iBhikkhu and the Gihi. Looked at 
from this poi^t of view, the Anguttara Nikaya 
m&y justly be regarded as a sutta store-house of 
distinct Vinaya tracts. In this very nikaya we hit 
upon a Vinaya tract (A.N., I, pp. 98-100) which sets 
forth a rough sketch (matika) not of any particular 
Vinaya treatise but of the whole of the Vinaya- 
pitaka. The list of Vinaya topics furnished in this 
particular tract cannot be construed as a table of 
contents of any particular, text of the Vinaya- 
pitaka. Similar Vinaya tracts arS scattered also in 
the- suttas of other nikayas. The consideration 
of all these facts cannot but lead one to surmise 
that the treatises of the Vinayapitaka point to a 
sutta background in the Vinaya materials trace- 
able in the nikayas particularly in the Anguttara. 
The sutta background of the Vinaya texts is clearly 
hinted at in the concluding words of the Patimokkha. 
" So much of the words of the Blessed One handed 
down in the suttas, embraced in the suttas, comes 
into recitation every half month " (Vinaya texts, 
S.B.E., Vol. I, p. 69). 

As for the date of the composition of the 
two Patimokkha codes, one for the bhikkhus 
(monks) and the other for the bhikkhums (nuns), 
it is important to bear in mind that according to 
an ancient Buddhist tradition cited by Buddha- 
ghosa, the Patimokkha codes as they are handed 
down to us are two among the Vinaya texts which 
were not rehearsed in the First Buddhist Council 
(Sumangalavilasim, pt. I, p. 17). It may be readily 
granted that the codification of the Patimokkha 
rules in the extant shape was not accomplished 
immediately after the demise of the Buddha. It is 
one thing to say this and it is quite another thai^the 
rules themselves in a classified form had not beSft 
in existence from the earliest times. The Culla- 
vagga account of the First Buddhist Council throws 

20 A History of Pali Literature 

some clear light on the process of codification. It 
is said that the utterance of the dying Buddha 
authorising his followers to do away with the 
minor rules of conduct (khudd^hukhuddakani 
sikkhapadani) if they so desired, /ormed a bone 
of contention among the bhikkhus who took part 
in the proceedings of the First Buddhist Council 
(see Milinda Panha, pp. 142-144). They were 
unable to decide which were precisely the minor 
rules they were authorised to dispense with. Some 
suggested all but the four Parajika rules ; some, all 
but the four Parajika and 13 Samghadisesa rules; 
some, all but the four farajika, 13 Samghadisesa and 
two Aniyata rules ; some, all but the four Parajikas, 
13 Samghadisesas, two Aniyatas and 30 Nissaggiyas ; 
some, all but the four Parajika, 13 Samghadisesa, 
two Aniyata, 30 Nissaggiya and 92 Pacittiya rutes; 
and some, all but four Parajika, 13 Samghadisesa, 
two Aniyata, 30 Nissaggiya, 92 Pacittiya and four 
Patidesaniya rules. l The suggestion stopped with the 
four Patidesaniya rules and did not proceed beyond 
them, leaving us in the dark as to what the bhikkhus 
meant by "all but all these" (counted by names). 
The Patimokkha code in its final form included two 
hundred and twenty-seven rules, that is to say, 
the seven adhikaranasamathas and seventy-five Se- 
khiya rules in addition to those mentioned hi the 

1 Ekacce thera evain ahamsu : cattari parajikani tfiapetva ava- 
sesani khuddanukhuddakani sikkhapadaniti. Ekacce thera evain 
ahamsu : cattari parajikaiii thapotva torasa saihghadisese thapetva 
avasesani khuddanukhuddakani sikkhapadaniti. Ekacce thera 
evam ahamsu : cattari parajikaiii $hapotva terasa saihghadiseKe 
thapetva dvo aniyate ^hapotva avasesani khuddanukhuddakani 
sikkhapadaniti. Ekacce thera evarn ahamsu : cattari parajikaiii 
thapetva terasa thapetva dve aniyate thapetva timsa 
nisaaggiye pacittiye ^hapetva avasesani khuddanukhuddakani sikkha- 
padaniti Ekacce thera evam aharhsu : cattari parajikani thapetva 
terasa samghadisese thapetva dve aniyate tha[3etva timsa nissoggiye 
pacittiye ^hap^tva dvenavutirh pacittiye thapetva avasewani 
khuddanukhuddakani sikkhapadaniti. Ekacce thera evam ahaihsu : 
vattari parajikani thapetva terasa sarhghadiseso thapetva dve 
aniyate thapetva tiihsa nissaggiye pacittiye ^Irapetva dvenavutirh 
pacittiye th. cattari pat-idesaniye th. avasesani khuddanukhuddakani 
sikkhapadaniti (Cullavagga, Chap. XI, pp. 287-288). 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 21 

Cullavagga account. Omitting the 75 Sekhiya rules 
the total of the Patimokkha precepts of conduct 
would come mp to 152. If the theras of the First 
Buddhist Couqpil had in their view a Patimokkha 
code in which the 75 Sekhiya rules had no place, 
the total of precepts in the Code recognised by them 
was 152. Now we have to enquire if there is any 
definite literary evidence to prove that in an earlier 
stage of codification, the total of the Patimokkha 
precepts was fixed at 152. Happily the evidence 
is not far to seek. The Anguttara Nikaya, as we 
have seen above, contains two passages to indicate 
that the earlier Patimokkha code contained one 
and half hundred rules or little more (Sadhikam 
diyaddhasikkhapadasatam). * 

The earlier Patimokkha code with its total 
of*152 rules may be shown to have been earlier than 
the Suttavibhanga on the ground that the Suttavi- 
bhanga scheme makes room for the 75 Sekhiya rules, 
thereby recognising the Patimokkha total to be 
227 which was possible only in the second or final 
stage of codification of the Patimokkha rules. 

In dealing with the chronology of the seven 
treatises of the Abhidhammapitaka, we can only 
maintain that the order in which these treatises 
are enumerated can be interpreted as the order 
of the chronology. Any attempt at establishing 
such an interpretation would be vitiated by the 
fact that the order of enumeration is not in all 
cases the same. The order in which these are 
mentioned in the Milinda Panha (p. 12) and which 
has since become classical is as follows : 

1. Dhamniasangani (Dhammasamgaha as 
Buddhaghosa calls it vide Sumangala- 
vilasini, p. 17), 2. Vibhanga, 
3. Dhatukatha, 4. Puggalapannatti, 
5. Kathavatthu, 6. Yamaka, ^nd 
7. Patthana. 

1 Gf. Milinda Pafiha which refers to the same total of the Pati- 
mokkha rules in the expression " Diyaddhusu sikkhapada-satesu ". 

22 A History of Pali Literature 

A somewhat different order is evident from 
a gatha occurring in Buddhaghosa's Sumangala- 
vilasini, pt. I, p. 15. " Dhammasa$igani-Vibhan- 
gaii ca Kathavatthun ca Puggalam Dlptu- Yamaka 
Patthanam Abhidhammo ti vuccati." 

It will be noticed that in the gatha order 
the Kathavatthu stands third instead of fifth and 
the Dhatukatha stands fifth instead of third. 1 
We have already noted that according to general 
interpretation of the five nikaya divisions of the 
Pali Canon, the Abhidhamma treatises come under 
the Khuddaka Nikaya. This is apparently an ano- 
maly which camfot be removed save by a liberal 
interpretation making it signify a suttanta b^ck- 
ground of the Abhidhammapitaka. Thus an en- 
quiry into the suttanta background becomes t a 
desideratum and we may lay down a general canon 
of chronology in these terms. The closer the con- 
nection with the sutta materials, the earlier is the 
date of composition. Among the seven Abhi- 
dhamma treatises, the Puggalapafinatti and the 
Vibhanga stand out prominently as the two texts 
which bear a clear evidence of emergence from a 
sutta background. The Puggala classifications in 
the Digha, Samyutta, and Anguttara Nikayas are 
seen to constitute at once the sutta background 
and the stereotyped Vibhangas or Niddesas, mostly 
contained in the Majjhima Nikaya, may be taken 
to represent the sutta background of the Vibhanga. 
The exact position of the Puggalapanfiatti in rela- 
tion to the suttanta collections may be brought 
home in the light of the following observations of 
Dr. Morris : "As to the materials made use of by 
the compiler of the Puggalapafinatti, we can speak 
somewhat more positively. We have found nearly 
the whole of the third, fourth, and fifth sections of 
our text (tayo puggala, cattaro puggala, panca 
puggala) in the corresponding sections (tika nipata, 
catukka nipata, etc.) of the Anguttara Nikaya, 

1 This may, however, be explained simply as due to metre causa. 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 23 

including the long passage entitled Yodhdjivupamd 

I need hardly say anything of the other sections, 
as they are Viere repetitions ; the cha puggala 
goes partly over the same ground as the Ekakam. 
Nos. 28 and 29 of the attha puggala have already 
been noticed as occurring in the Sangiti-sutta, while 
the nava puggala is a repetition of I, 28-36, and 
dasa puggala refers to I, 37-46 of our text. 

For the sake of comparison it may be stated 
that IV, No. 15 (Matika) is to be found in the 
Anguttara Nikaya, duka nipata, XII, II ; and IV, 
Nos. 1, 2, 3 occur in the Samyujta Nikaya, while 
IV, 29 is to be found in the Sangiti-sutta. 

Nos. 23, 24, and 25, pt. 1, of the Puggalapannatti 
seem to be curiously out of place, as we naturally 
esfpect them to be amongst the tayo puggala. 
The Sangiti-sutta names them under the tisso 

Nos. 42-46, pt. 1, are mentioned without ex- 
planation in the Sangiti-sutta as the panca and- 
gdmino. The only terms in pt. 1 that I have not 
come across are Nos. 1-8, 10-14, 19, 20, 37, 38, 
and 39. 

The designations in pt. II, Nos. 21, 22, 23, 
24, and 26 are in the Anguttara Nikaya, duka nipata, 
XI, 2, 4, and 5 ; 11-12. As to the remainder of the 
dve puggala, the terms themselves are to be found 
under a slightly different form in the Sangiti-sutta 
and Anguttara Nikaya" (Puggalapannatti, P.T.S., 
Introduction, pp. x-xi). 

We have just one remark to add, namely, 
that compared with the suttanta materials utilised 
in it, the Puggalapannatti is the least original 
treatise of the Abhidhammapitaka and its inclusion 
in the Abhidhammapitaka would have been 
utterly unjustifiable but for the Pannatti classifica- 
tions in the matika, No. 1. Whatever the ac&*aj 
date of its compilation in respect of subject-matter 
and treatment, it deserves to be considered as 
the earliest of the Abhidhamma books. 

24 A History of Pali Literature 

In the opinion of Mrs. Rhys Davids, the Vi- 
bhanga is " anticipated " by the Dhammasangani, 
although " it is by no means covered by the latter 
work, either In method or in matte? " (Vibbanga, 
P.T.S., Preface, XIV). In other wofds, the presQnt 
book (the Vibhanga) seems by Buddhists to have 
ranked second in the seven of its pitakas not acci- 
dentally, but as a sequel to the Dhammasangani 
requiring in those who came to the study of it, 
a familiarity with the categories and formulas of 
the latter work that is, with the first book of the 
Abhidhamma" (Ibid., XIII). Thus whether the 
Vibhanga is anticipated by the Dhammasangani 
or the latter is anticipated by the former is the 
point at issue. 

Examining most of the chapters of the Vibhanga 
we find that each of them has a Abhidhamma 
superstructure (Abhidhammabhajaniya) built upon 
and kept distinct from a suttanta exegesis (Sut- 
tantabhajaniya), the counterpart of which is to be 
found in the first four nikayas and mostly in the 
Majjhima, as it will appear from the following 
table : Saccavibhanga (Suttantabhajaniya) = Sacca- 
vibhanga Sutta (Majjhima, Vol. Ill, No. 141); 
Satipatthanavibhanga (Suttantabhajaniya) = Sati- 
pattharia Sutta (M.N., L, No. 10) ; Dhatuvibhariga 
(Suttantabhajaniya) = Dhatu vibhanga Sutta of the 
Majjhima, Vol. Ill, No. 140. It is evident from 
the juxtaposition of the suttanta and the Abhi- 
dhamma exegesis in its different chapters that the 
Vibhanga marks that stage of the development of 
the Abhidhammapitaka when the Abhidhamma 
or Transcendental method of exegesis had not yet 
gained an independent foothold; when, in other 
words, it remained combined with the suttanta or 
earlier method. The predilection is as yet for 
attempting the exegesis of the formulations in the 
$jas. An independent treatment of pure topics 
of Psychological ethics, such as we find in the 
Dhammasangani, is far beyond the scheme of the 
Vibhanga. In the progressive working out of exe- 

tion of meanings of terms comes seCOttQ W UK 
uddesa or mdtikd. Now, if we compare the treat- 
ment of the HMipakkhandha in the Vibhanga (12-14) 
with that in me Dhammasarigani (pp. 124 foil.), 
we cannot but observe that all that the Vibhanga 
has to present is merely the tiddem or mdtikd of the 
Rupakkhandha section of the Dhammasangani. 
The Niddesa of the rupamatika is to be found in 
no other Abhidhamma books than the Dhamma- 
sangani. Mrs. Rhys Davids admits (in a way 
arguing in our favour) that " the contents of the 
Vibhanga are by no means covered Jby the Dhamma- 
sangani ". The Vibhanga has, for instance, a sec- 
tion entitled Paccayakaravibhanga, an exegesis on 
the casual relations. The paccayas 1 fall outside 
th< scope of the Dhammasangani and they form the 
subject-matter of the great Abhidhamma treatise, 
the Patthana or the Mahapatthana, though com- 
pared with the Patthana, the Vibhanga treatment 
of the subject is crude and vague, which is to say 
earlier. Considered in this light, the Vibhanga 
seems to stand out as a common presupposition of 
both the Dhammasangani and the Patthana. It is 
much easier to proceed from the contents of the 
Vibhanga to the two highly systematic treatises of 
the Dhammasangani and the Patthana than to 
proceed from the latter to the former. The Dhatu- 
katha being nothing but a supplement to the text 
of the Dhammasangani may be briefly disposed of 
as an Abhidhamma treatise dependent on and 
necessarily later than the Dhammasangani. 

1 Paccaya means a condition, cause, support, requisite stay, 
means, causal antecedent, mode of relation, etc. Here it refers 
to the twenty-four modes of relations (paccayas) between things 
which are so many patthanas. v fhey are enumerated in the 
Paccayavibhangavara of the "JfikapaUhana, pt. 1. The en'teig, 
pa^hana is devoted first to an enquiry into these twenty-four 
ways in which x is paccaya to y, secondly into illustrating how 
in things material or mental each kind of paccaya and groups of 
paccayas originate. 

26 A History of Pali Literature 

It is not only with regard to the Dhamma- 
sangani (with its supplement, the Dhatukatha) 
and the Patthana that the Vibhanga represents the 
immediate background ; it appears o^ually to have 
been the background of the Yams&a. It is easy 
to account for the dialectical method of the study 
of the Abhidhamma matters adopted in the Panha- 
pucchakas appended to the different chapters of 
the Vibhanga. All these considerations lead us 
to conclude that, strictly speaking, the Vibhanga, 
making " an extended application of (the) organum 
or vehicle for the cultivation of the moral intellect " 
is the first and earliest of the Abhidhamma books. 

1. Puggalapafinatti 

( (a) Dhammasangani- 

TT-UU 3 Dhatukatha 

2. Vibhanga . . ^ (fc) Yamaka 

f (c) Patthana 

\ \ / 

3. Kathavatthu 

Although one can conceive in this manner 
the chronological succession of the five Abhidhamma 
books (leaving out the Puggalapafinatti which is 
rather a suttanta text and the Kathavatthu which 
forms a class by itself), it is difficult to determine 
the actual dates of their composition. One thing is 
certain that all the seven books of the Abhidhamma- 
pitaka were well known and very carefully read 
especially in the Himalayan monastery when the 
MUinda Paiiha was composed in about the 1st 
century A.D. There is no reason for doubt that 
the Pali Canon when committed to writing during 
the reign of King Vattagamani in Ceylon, it 
included all these books in it. We have shown that 
when the uddanagathas of the Cullavagga (Chapter 
II) of the Vinayapitaka were added, the three 
pitakas of the Pali Canon had already come into 
jpjcistence. The question, however, is how far the 
date of the books of the Abhidhammapitaka can 
be pushed back. Here the only anchor sheet is 
the Kathavatthu, the third or the fifth Abhidhamma 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 27 

book which, according to tradition, was a compila- 
tion of the Asokan age. We have already adduced 

fc certain proof s% in support of this tradition and 
have sought toVhow that when certain controversies 
which find a place in the Kathavatthu took place, 
Buddhism as a religion had not overstepped the 
territorial limits of the Middle Country. But 
according to Buddhaghosa's commentary, the Katha- 
vatthu contains discussions of doctrines held by 
some of the Buddhist schools, e.g. the Hemavata, 
the Uttarapathaka, the Vajiriya, the Vetullaka, 
the Andhaka, the Pubbaseliya, and the Aparaseliya, 
which could not be possible* if tjae Kathavatthu 
had been closed in the time of Asoka. If it was a 
growing compilation, we have necessarily to sup- 
pose that although it commenced in Asokan time, 
it Vas not brought to a close till the rise of the 
later Buddhist schools mentioned above. 

Turning at last to the Suttapitaka comprising 
the five nikayas, we can definitely say that it had 

'reached its final shape before the composition of 
the Milinda Panha in which authoritative passages 
are quoted from the texts of this pitaka, in certain 
instances by mention of the name of the sources. 
We can go further and maintain that the Sutta- 
pitaka was closed along with the entire Pali Canon 
and when the canon was finally rehearsed in Ceylon 
and committed to writing during the reign of King 
Vattagamani. The tradition says that previous 
to the reign of Vattagamani the texts were handed 
down by an oral tradition (mukJiapdthavasena) 
from teacher to teacher (dcariya'parampardyd), the 
process of transmission being compared to the 
carrying of earth in baskets from head to head. 
Buddhaghosa says (Sumahgalavilasim, pt. I, pp. 12 
foil.) that immediately after the demise of the 
Buddha and after the session of the First Buddhist 
Council, the task of transmitting and preserving 
each of the five nikayas was entrusted to an 
individual thera and his followers, which ultimately 
gave rise to some schools of bhdnakas or chanters. 

28 A History of Pali Literature 

The existence of the distinct schools of reciters of 
the five nikayas is clearly proved (as shown by 
Dr. B. M. Barua 1 ) by the Milinda/- Paiiha where , 
we have mention of the Jataldtbhanaka (the 
repeaters of the Jatakas) in addition to the Digha- 
bhanaka, the Majjhimabhanaka, the Sarhyutta- 
bhanaka, the Anguttarabhanaka and the Khuddaka- 
bhanaka. 2 The terms * paficanekayika ' (one well 
versed in the five nikayas) and bhanaka as well, 
occur as distinctive epithets of some of the Buddhist 
donors in the Sanci and Barhut inscriptions which 
may be dated in the lump in the middle of the 
second century JB.C. The inference from the evi- 
dence of these inscriptions has already been drawn 
by Prof. Rhys Davids to the effect that before the 
use of Pancariekayika (one who knows the five 
nikayas by heart), Suttantika (a man who kn6ws 
a suttaiita by heart), Suttantakim (a feminine 
form of Suttantika) and Petaki (one who knows the 
pitaka by heart) as distinctive epithets, the pitaka 
and five nikaya divisions of the Pali Canon must 
have been well known and well established. We 
say "of the Pali Canon" because substitution of 
nikaya for the term c agama ' is peculiar to the 
Pali tradition. The term " Paficanikaya " occurs 
as we saw also in the Vinaya Cullavagga (Chapter II) 
which we have assigned to a period which imme- 
diately preceded the Asokan age. But even pre- 
suming that the five nikaya divisions of the growing 
Buddhist Canon were current in the third century 
B.C., it does not necessarily follow from it that all 
the books or suttas or individual passages corn- 
prising the five nikayas were composed at that 
time. All that we can say " that the first four 
nikayas were, to all intents and purposes, then 
complete, while the Khuddaka Nikaya series 
remained still open ". 

We have pointed out that this account in the 

1 Barhut Inscriptions, pp. 9-10. 

2 Milinda Pafiha, pp. 341 foil. 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 29 

Vinaya Cullavagga clearly alludes to the Dlgha as 
the first of the five nikayas as well as that the 
first two suttas were the Brahma jala and Saman- 
naphala, whilems to the number and succession of 
the remaining suttas, we are kept completely in 
the* dark. Straining the information supplied in 
the Vinaya Cullavagga we can proceed so far, no 
doubt, that the first volume of the Dlgha Nikaya 
was mainly in the view of its compilers. Com- 
paring the suttas comprised in the remaining two 
volumes and marking the differences in theme 
and tone, it seems that these two volumes were 
later additions. The second .volume contains two 
suttas, namely, the Mahapadhaiia and Maha- 
govinda which have been mentioned in the Cullanid- 
desa (p. 80) as two among the notable illustrations 
of jthe suttanta Jatakas, the Jatakas as found in 
the earliest forms in Pali literature. We have 
already drawn attention to the earlier chronicles of 
the seven purohitas in the Aiiguttara Nikaya where 
.it is far from being a manipulation in a Jataka 
form. The casting of this chronicle in a Jataka 
mould as we find it in the Mahagovinda Suttanta 
could not have taken place in the lifetime of the 
Buddha. The second volume contains also the 
Payasi Suttanta, 1 which, as shown by the pre- 
vious scholars, brings the story of Payasi to the 
death of Payasi and his after-life in a gloomy 

1 The belief in a life $ if lev death, in Heaven and Hell, conse- 
quent upon the commission of good or evil deeds was current 
long before the advent of the Buddha. This belief was, however, 
assailed by Ajita Kosakainball, one of the six heretical teachers 
who wore rivals of the Buddha. According to Ajita Kesakambal! 
there is neither fruit nor ie.sult of good or evil deeds, and fools 
and wise alike, on the dissolution of the body, are cut off, anni- 
hilated, after death they are not. The further development of the 
teaching of Ajita Kosakambali can be traced in the views of Payasi, 
the chieftain of Setavya in Kosala, who came to the Ueld, according 
to Buddhist evidence immediately after the Mahaparinibba?v* 
of the Buddha, it is Payasi (Jain Paesi) who discussed the practical 
issues and supplied the logical arguments of Ajita's philosophy 
(atheism). Digha Nikaya, Vol. 1, p. 55 ; 1 leaven and Hell 
Appendix by B. M. Barua, p. iii. 

30 A History of Pali Literature 

heaven. This suttanta contains several anecdotes 
forming the historical basis of some of the Jataka 
stories. In the face of all these facts we cannot 
but agree with Prof. Rhys Davids /who places the' 
date of this suttanta at least half'a century after 
the demise of the Buddha. The third volume 
of the Digha includes in it the Atanatiya Suttanta 
which is otherwise described as a rakkhd or saving 
chant manipulated apparently on a certain passage 
in the then known Mahabharata. l The develop- 
ment of these elements, the Jataka stories and the 
Parittas, could not have taken place when Buddhism 
remained in it| pristine purity. These are later 
accretions or interpretations, the works of fable and 
fiction, we mean of imaginative poetry that crept, 
according to a warning given in certain passages 
of the Anguttara Nikaya, under influence from 
outside. But there is no reason for surprise that 
such developments had already taken place as 
early as the fourth century B.C., for the passages 
that strike the note of alarm are precisely one of. 
those seven important tracts recommended by 
Asoka in his Bhabru Edict under the caption 
' Anagatabhayani '. The growth of these foreign 
elements must have caused some sort of confusion 
otherwise it would not have been necessary to 
discuss in a sutta of the Samyutta Nikaya the 
reasonable way of keeping genuine the utterances 
of the Buddha distinct from others that crept in 
under the outside influence and were characterised 
by poetical fancies and embellishments (kavikata) 
(Samyutta Nikaya, pt. II, p. 267). We may, 
then, be justified in assigning the whole of the 
Digha Nikaya to a pre-Asokan age, there being 
no trace of any historical event or development 
which might have happened after King Asoka. 
The only exception that one has to make is in the 
j^se of the concluding verses of the Mahapari- 
nibbana Suttanta which were interpolated, according 

1 Advalayana Grihya Sutra, III, 4, 4, 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 31 

to Buddhaghosa, in Ceylon by the teachers of that 
island. Like the first volume of the Digha Nikaya, 
the whole of the Majjhima Nikaya strikes us as the 
most authoritative and original among the collec- 
tions of the Buddha's teachings. There is no 
allusion to any political event to justify us in rele- 
gating the date of its compilation to a time far 
removed from the demise of the Buddha. If it 
be argued that the story of Makhadeva, as we find 
it embodied in the Makhadeva Sutta of this nikaya, 
has already assumed the form of a Jataka, of a 
suttanta Jataka, mentioned in the Cullaniddesa, 
it cannot follow from it that the nikaya is for that 
very reason a much later compilation. For the 
Makhadeva story is one of those few earliest Jatakas 
presupposed by the Pali Canonical collection of 500 
Jatakas. The literary developments as may be 
traced in the suttas of the Majjhima Nikaya are 
not of such a kind as to require more than a century 
after the demise of the Buddha. 

Now concerning the Samyutta which is a 
collection of kindred sayings and the third of the 
five nikayas, we may point out that it has been 
quoted by name in the Milinda Panha, as also in 
the Petakopadesa under the simple title of Sam- 
yuttaka, and that as such this nikaya had existed 
as an authoritative book of the Pali Canon previous 
to the composition of both the Milinda Panha and 
the Petakopadesa. We can go so far as to maintain 
that the Sariiyutta Nikaya had reached its final 
shape previous to the occurrence of Pancane- 
kayika as a personal epithet in some of the Barhut 
and Sanci inscriptions, nay, even before the closing 
of the Vinaya Cullavagga where we meet with the 
expression " Pancanikaya ". In dealing with the 
account of the Second Buddhist Council in the 
Vinaya Cullavagga (Ch. XIII), we have noted that 
a canonical authority has been alluded to as Rai$- 
gahe uposatha Samyutte " at Rajagaha in the 
Uposatha-Samyutta ". The translators of the 
Vinaya texts (pt. Ill, p. 410) observe that the term 

32 A History of Pali Literature 

" Samyutta must here be used for Khandhaka ", 
the passage referred to being the Vinaya Mahir 
vagga (II, 8, 3, the Uposatha Khapdhaka). But 
looking into the Mahavagga passage we find that 
it does not fully tally with the allusion, as $he 
passage has nothing to do with Rajagaha. In the 
absence of Rajagaha giving a true clue to the 
tracing of the intended passage, it is difficult to 
premise that the passage which the compilers of 
the Cullavagga account kept in view was the 
Khandhaka passage in the Vinaya Mahavagga. 
Although we have so far failed to trace this pas- 
sage also in the^amyutta Nikaya, the presumption 
ought to be that the intended passage was included 
in a Samyutta collection which was then known 
to the compilers of the Cullavagga. The suttas 
in the Samyutta Nikaya do not refer to any political 
incident justifying one to place the date of its com- 
pilation far beyond the demise of the Buddha. As 
contrasted with the Ekuttara or Ariguttara Nikaya 
the Samyutta appears to be the result of an 
attempt to put together relevant passages throwing 
light 011 the topics of deeper doctrinal importance 
while the former appears to be numerical groupings 
of relevant passages throwing light on the topics 
relating to the conduct of the monks and house- 
holders. Considered in this light, these two nikayas 
must be regarded as fruits of a critical study of 
suttas in some previous collections. 

Now coming to deal with the Ekuttara or 
Anguttara Nikaya, we have sought to show that its 
main bearing is on the two-fold Vinaya, the Gaha- 
pati Vinaya and the Bhikkhu Vinaya. This nikaya 
contains a section (Mundarajavagga in the Paficaka 
Nipata) commemorating the name of King Munda 
who reigned, as si i own by Rhys Davids, in Raja- 
gaha about half a century after the demise of the 
Buddha. The nikaya containing a clear reference 
to Mundaraja cannot be regarded as a compilation 
made within the fifty years from the Buddha's 
demise. There is, however, no other historical 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 33 

reference to carry the date of its compilation 
beyond the first century from the Mahaparinibbana 
oi the Buddha* The date proposed for the Angut- 
'tara Nikaya WL^ not, we think, appear unreasonable 
if it be admitted that the suttas of this nikaya 
form the real historical background of the con- 
tents of the Vinaya texts. 

We have at last to discuss the chronology 
of the fifteen books of the Khuddaka Nikaya, which 
are generally mentioned in the following order : 

1. Khuddakapatha, 9. Therigatha, 

2. Dhammapada, 10. Jataka, 

3. Udana, 11. NiddSsa (Culla and 

4. Itivuttaka, Maha), 

5. Sutta Nipata, 12. Patisambhidamagga, 
6.^ Vimanavatthu, 13. Apadana, 

7. Petavatthu, 14. Buddhavamsa, 

8. Theragatha, 15. Cariyapitaka. 

This mode of enumeration of the fifteen books 
*of the Khuddaka Nikaya (pannarasabheda Khud- 
dakanikaya) can be traced back to the days of 
Buddhaghosa (Sumangalavilasini, pt. I, p. 17). 
It is obvious that in this list the Cullaniddesa and 
the Mahaniddesa are counted as one book ; while 
counting them as two books, the total number 
becomes sixteen. There is no justification for 
regarding the order of enumeration as being the 
order of chronology. In connection with the 
Khuddaka Nikaya, Buddhaghosa mentions the 
following fact of great historical importance. He 
says that the Dighabhanakas classified the books 
of the Khuddaka Nikaya under the Abhidhamma- 
pitaka enumerating them in the following order : 

1. Jataka, 7. Udana, 

2. Mahaniddesa, 8. Itivuttaka, 

3. Cullaniddesa, 9. Vimanavatthu, 

4. Patisambhidamagga, 10. Petavatthu, 

5. Sutta Nipata, 11. Therigatha, 

6. Dhammapada, 


34 A History of Pali Literature 

and leaving out of consideration the four books, 
namely, the Cariyapitaka, the Apadana, the Bud- 
dhavamsa and the Khuddakapatha,/' Buddhaghosa< 
informs us that the Majjhimabhanapa list contained 
the names of 15 books, counting the Cariyapitaka, 
the Apadana and the Buddhavamsa as the three 
books in addition to those recognised by the Digha 
bhanakas (Sumangalavilasim, pt. I, p. 15). It is 
important to note that the Majjhimabhanaka list 
has taken no cognisance of the Khuddakapatha 
mentioned as the first book in Buddhaghosa's own 
list. It is not difficult to surmise that when the 
Dlghabhanaka Jist was drawn up, the Khuddaka 
Nikaya comprised just 12 books and when the 
Majjhima Nikaya list was made, it came to com- 
prise altogether 15 books, the Mahaniddesa and the 
Cullaniddesa having been counted as two bctoks 
instead of as one. It is also easy to understand 
that from that time onward the traditional total 
of the books of the Khuddaka Nikaya became known 
as fifteen, and so strong was this tradition that to' 
harmonise with it the sixteen books had to be some- 
how counted as fifteen, the Mahaniddesa and the 
Cullaniddesa being treated as a single book. From 
this we may proceed to show that the Khuddaka- 
patha appearing as the first book of the Khuddaka 
Nikaya in Buddhaghosa's list is really the last 
book taken into the Khuddaka Nikaya sometime 
after the Majjhimabhanaka list recognising fifteen 
books in all had been closed. We need not be 
surprised if the Khuddakapatha was a compilation 
made in Ceylon and was given a place among the 
books of the Khuddaka Nikaya either immediately 
before the commitment of the Pali Canon to writing 
during the reign of King Vattagamani or even 
after that, although before the time of Buddha- 
ghosa. The commentaries of Buddhaghosa are our 
oldest authorities that mention the Khuddakapatha 
as a canonical book. It does not find mention in 
the Milinda Paiiha nor in any other work, canonical 
or ex-canonical, which was extant before the time 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 35 

of Buddhaghosa. The text is made up of nine 
lessons or short reading all culled from certain 
earlier canonical sources, the arrangement of these 
lessons being qpch as to make it serve as a very 
useful handbook for the beginners and for the 
clergy ministering to the needs of the laity. The 
consideration of two points may suffice to bear out 
our contention : the first point is that the first 
lesson called the Saranattaya presents a developed 
mode of refuge formula of the Buddhists which is 
not to be found precisely in this form anywhere 
in other portions of the Pali Canon. As for the 
second point we may note that jJie third lesson 
called the Dvattimsakara (the thirty-two parts 
of the body) enumerates matthake matthalungam 
which is not to be found in the list furnished in the 
Mahasatipatthana Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya, 
the Satipatthana Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, 
and numerous other discourses. 

We have seen that the Buddhavamsa, the 
Cariyapitaka, and the Apadana are the three books 
which found recognition in the list of the Majjhima- 
bhanakas and were taken no notice of in the 
Dighabhanaka list. Apart from other arguments, 
one has to presume that these three books were 
compiled and received into the canon after the 
list was once known to have been complete with 
twelve books. These three books, so far as the 
subject-matters go, are interconnected, the Buddha- 
vamsa enumerating the doctrine of pranidhdna 
as an essential condition of the Bodhisatta life, the 
Cariyapitaka enumerating the doctrine of cariyd 
or practices of a Bodhisatta and the Apadana, the 
doctrine of adhikara or competence for the attain- 
ment of higher life. These three books presuppose 
a legend of 24 previous Buddhas which is far in 
excess of the legend of six Buddhas contained in 
other portions of the canon. The Buddhavamsa 
and the Cariyapitaka present a systematic form of 
the Bodhisatta idea that was shaping itself through 
the earlier Jatakas and the Apadana furnishing 

36 A History of Pali Literature 

the previous birth-stories of the theras and the theris 
cannot but be regarded as a later supplement to 
the Thera-Theri-gatha. f 

Besides the Thera-Theri-gathi^ the Vimana- 
vatthu or the book of stories of heaven is just 
another canonical work which is presupposed by 
the Apadana. It is important to note that the 
Vimanavatthu contains one story, namely, the 
story of Serissaka, the incident of which, according 
to the story itself, took place a hundred years, 
calculated by human computation, from the death 
of the chieftain Payasi. 

" MaiTussakam vassasatam atitam 
Yadagge kayamhi idhupappanno." 

(Vimanavatthu, P.T.S., p. 81.) 

The Payasi Suttanta of the Digha Nil&ya 
clearly shows that the death of Payasi could not 
have been taken place until a few years after the 
Buddha's demise. Thus going by the consideration 
of this point, we are compelled to assign the date of 
its composition to an age ahead of a century and 
a half from the demise of the Buddha. So the 
canonisation of this book could not have taken 
place earlier than the time of the Third Buddhist 
Council, we mean the time of King Asoka. Our 
suggestion for the date of the Vimanavatthu will 
be significant as we consider the contents of the 
Petavatthu, the book of stories of hell. We have 
noticed above that in all the three lists of the books 
of the Khuddaka Nikaya, the name of the Peta- 
vatthu stands after that of the Vimanavatthu. 
From the occurrence of certain common stories a 
suggestion has already been made that it was 
somehow an offshoot of the Vimanavatthu. Now 
in one of the stories (Petavatthu, IV. 3, I) 1 , we 
have allusions to the Moriya (Maurya) king, who 

1 " Raja Pihgalako nama Suratthanam adhipati ahu Moriya- 
naro upatthanam gantva Surattlram punar agama." 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 37 

is identified in the commentary with King A^oka. 1 
If this construction of the word Moriya is correct, it 
leaves no romn for doubt that the Petavatthu, 
as we now have it, was a post-Moriyan or post- 
A6okan compilation. Again in the Mahavamsa 
the* Petavatthu is also mentioned by name. Mahinda 
in his second discourse to the women of Devanam- 
piyatissa's household, preached the Petavatthu, 
the Vimanavatthu and the Sacca-Samyutta, and 
the women attained to the first stage of sanctifica- 
tion. 2 

The Cullaniddesa is a canonical commentary on 
the Khaggavisana Sutta and yie Parayana group of 
sixteen poems, all of which inicT place in the 
anthology called the Sutta Nipata. We have sought 
to show that the Cullaniddesa indicates a stage of 
development of the Pali Canon when the Khagga- 
visana Sutta hangs on the Parayanavagga as an 
isolated poem, without yet being included in a 
distinct group such as the Uragavagga of the Sutta 
.Nipata. Though from this line of argument it 
follows that the Cullaniddesa is earlier than the 
Sutta Nipata, it cannot at the same time be denied 
that it is posterior not only to such suttanta Jatakas 
as the Mahapadaniya, Mahagovinda, Mahasudas- 
saniya and the Maghadeva Suttanta contained in 
the Digha and Majjhima Nikayas but also to a 
collection of 500 Jatakas (Pancajatakasatani) 
(Cullaniddesa, p. 80). As such the Cullaniddesa 
cannot be dated much earlier than the reign of 

The Mahaniddesa, too, is a canonical com- 
mentary on the Atthaka group of sixteen poems 
forming the fourth book of the Sutta Nipata. As 
shown before, the exegeses attempted in this book 
were all modelled on an earlier exegesis of Maha- 

1 ** Moriyanan'ti Moriyarajunam Dhammasokam samdhaya 
vadati "Petavatthu, P.T.*S., p. 98. 

2 " Petavatthum Vimanam ca saccasamyuttam eva ca desesi 
thero, ta itthl Pathamam phalam ajjhagum " Mahavamsa, p. 108 

38 A History of Pali Literature 

kaccana in the Samyutta Nikaya. If this canoni- 
cal commentary came into existence when the 
Atthakavagga was yet current as an isolated group, 
the date of its composition cannot /Jut be anterior 
to that of the Sutta Nipata. A crear idea of the 
date of this work can be formed from its list* of 
places visited by the Indian sea-going merchants. 
The Mahaniddesa list clearly points to a time when 
the Indian merchants carried on a sea-borne trade 
with such distant places as Java in the east and 
Paramayona in the west and it alludes as well to a 
sea route from Tamali to Java via Tambapanni 
or Ceylon which was % followed in the fifth century 
A.D., by the Chinese pilgrim, Fa-Hien. We can 
expect to come across such a list only in the Milinda 
Panha which may be dated in the first and second 
centuries A.D. Such a wide expansion of Ind^'s 
maritime trade as indicated in the Mahaniddesa 
list would seem impossible if the book was a com- 
position much earlier than the second century 

Now turning to the Sutta Nipata we have been 
inclined to place it later than the two books of the 
Niddesa on the ground that when it was compiled, 
the Atthakavagga and the Parayanavagga came 
to represent two distinct books of a comprehensive 
anthology and the Khaggavisana Sutta ceased to 
be a stray poem hanging for its existence on the 
Parayana group. But our main reason for dating 
it posterior to the Cullaniddesa is that the Para- 
yanavagga in the Sutta Nipata is prefaced by a 
prologue which is absent from the Cullaniddesa 
scheme. Similarly the Nalaka Sutta perhaps known 
originally as Moneyya Sutta as evidenced by the 
titles suggested in A^oka's Bhabru Edict as a pro- 
logue clearly anticipating the poetical style of 
Avaghoa's Buddhacarita. In spite of the fact 
that the suttas embodied in it were gleaned from 
earlier collections, the Sutta Nipata scheme of 
anthology does not seem to have been carried into 
effect before the second century B.C. 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 39 

With regard to the Jatakas as a book of the 
Khuddaka Nikaya, we have just seen above that 
the Cullaniddesa points to a canonical collection 
of 500 Jatakasi That five hundred was the original 
total of the Jatakas is proved on the one hand by 
the 500 Jataka representations witnessed by Fa- 
Hien round the Abhayagiri monastery of Ceylon 
and on the other hand by the mechanical multi- 
plication of the stories in order to raise the total 
from 500 to 550 from the days of Buddhaghosa. 
The Milinda Panha alludes to the existence of the 
repeaters of the Jatakas apart from the repeaters of 
the five nikayas. We are unable to decide whether 
the Milinda reference is to tne caffbnical books of 
the Jatakas or to a commentary collection which 
was then in existence. The numerous illustrations 
of the Jatakas on the ancient Buddhist railings, 
such as those at Barhut and Bodhgaya, unmistak- 
ably presuppose the existence of the legendary 
stories of the Buddha's life, past and present. But 
the canonical collection of 500 Jatakas referred to 
in the Cullaniddesa appear to be earlier than the 
scriptural basis of the Buddhist sculptures, and 
whatever the actual date of composition might be, 
it was certainly later than that of the suttanta 
Jatakas scattered throughout the first four nikayas. 
We may say indeed that the canonical collection 
took a definite shape near about the early Maurya 

The Thera-Theri-gatha are two companion 
anthologies of the stanzas that are supposed to have 
been uttered by the theras and therls surrounding 
the Buddha during the lifetime of the Master, or 
at least shortly after his death (Theragatha, 
Oldenberg's preface, xi). 

" The separate uddanas or indices which occur 
regularly at the end of each nipata and at the end 
also of the whole work, and give the names and 
numbers of the theras (and the therls) and the 
number of verses in each chapter and in the whole 
work respectively, seem to be based on a recension 

40 A History of Pali Literature 

or condition of the text different from that which 
now lies before us " (Ibid., p. xiv). In the opinion 
of Dhammapala, the commentator, the Theragatha 
anthology had reached the final shafpe not earlier 
than the time of Asoka. He pointis out that the 
Thera Tekicchakari whose gathas are embodied 'in 
the Theragatha lived under King Bimbisara, the 
father of Dhammasoka. He further adds that the 
verses uttered by this thera were received into the 
canon by the fathers who assembled in the Third 
Buddhist Council. Dhammapala attributes some 
of the gathas to Vltasoka, the younger brother of 
Dhammasoka and certain other verses to Tissa- 
kumara, the yofthgest brother of King Asoka. If we 
can at all depend for chronology on the information 
supplied by Dhammapala, the anthologies of Thera- 
Theri-gatha must be taken as compilations that 
had received their final shape at the Third Buddhist 
Council and not before. 

The Pali Dhammapada is undoubtedly the 
earliest of the six copies of the anthologies of the 
Dhammapada class. The earliest mention of the 
Pali Dhammapada by name is to be found in the 
Milinda Panha which is a composition of the first 
or second century A.D. From the mere fact that 
there were certain quotations in the Kathavatthu 
and Mahaniddesa of stanzas now traceable in the 
Dhammapada, no definite conclusion can be drawn 
as to the actual date of its composition. The 
Dhammapada hardly includes any stanzas that 
might be supposed to have been drawn upon the 
canonical collection of Jatakas. But as shown by 
the editors of the Prakrit Dhammapada * there are 
a few gathas which were evidently manipulated 
on the basis of the gathas in the Jatakas. Similarly 
it cannot be maintained that the Dhammapada 
contains any stanzas that were directly derived 
from the Sutta Nipata, for the suttas which might 

1 Dr. Barua and Mr. Mitra, Prakrit Dhammapada, published 
by the University of Calcutta. 

Chronology of the Pali Canon 41 

be singled out as the source of some of the gathas 
of the Dhammapada are to be found also in such 
earlier collections as the Dlgha or the Majjhima or 
the Samyutta\or the Anguttara. The Thera and 
Then gathas are the two anthologies of the Khud- 
daka Nikaya which appear to have been presupposed 
by the Dhammapada. As regards external evi- 
dence, there is only one tradition, namely, that a 
powerful discourse based on the Appamadavagga 
of the Dhammapada served to attract the attention 
of King Asoka to Buddhism, clearly pointing to 
the existence of the Dhammapada as a distinct 
anthology as early as the third century B.C. 

The Itivuttaka, the Udana, and the Pati- 
sambhidamagga are the remaining three books 
of the Khuddaka Nikaya of which the date of com- 
.0mtion must depend upon mere conjecture till 
accidentally we obtain any reliable date. The 
Itivuttaka is a book of quotations of sayings of 
the Buddha alleged as genuine, making no reference 
to any canonical work or to any historical event 
ascertaining its date, though it seems that it was 
the result of an after-thought, of a critical study of 
the authentic teachings of the Buddha in a certain 
light and for a specific purpose. The Udana is a 
curious medley of legends and historical records, 
presented in a particular setting with a view to 
emphasising some pronounced opinions of the 
Buddha on certain controversial topics. The Pati- 
sambhidamagga presents a systematic exposition 
of certain important topics of Buddhism, and 
as such it deserves to be classed rather with the 
books of the Abhidhammapitaka than with those 
of the sutta. It is quite possible that before the 
development of the extant Abhidhammapitaka, it 
passed as one of the Abhidhamma treatises. Con- 
cerning these three books the utmost that we 
can say is that they are mentioned even in the 
list of the Dighabhanakas, being counted there as 
three among the twelve books of the Khuddaka 
Nikaya, and that if the tradition about this list is 

42 A History of Pali Literature 

at all credible, these three books must have 
existed when the list was drawn up, say, in the 
second century B.C. f 

The results arrived at concerning the chrono- 
logy of the Pali Canonical literature are presented 
in the subjoined table : 

1. The simple statements of Buddhist doc- 
trine now found in identical works in paragraphs 
or verses recurring in all the books. 

2. Episodes found in identical works in two 
or more of the existing books. 

3. The Silas, the Parayana group of sixteen 
poems without iJie prologue, the Atthaka group of 
four or sixteen poems, the Sikkhapadas. 

4. Digha, Vol. I, the Majjhima, the Samyutta, 
the Ahguttara, and earlier Patimokkha code of 152 

5. The Digha, Vols. II and III, the Thera- 
Theri-gatha, the collection of 500 Jatakas, Suttavi- 
bhanga, Patisambhidamagga, Puggalapannatti and 
the Vibhahga. 

6. The Mahavagga and the Cullavagga, the 
Patimokkha code completing 227 rules, the Vimana- 
vatthu and Petavatthu, the Dhammapada and the 

7. The Cullaniddesa, the Mahaniddesa, the 
Udana, the Itivuttaka, the Sutta Nipata, the Dhatu- 
katha, the Yamaka, and the Patthana. 

8. The Buddhavariisa, the Cariyapitaka, and 
the Apadana. 

9. The Parivarapatha. 
10. The Khuddakapatha. 





The Pali Canonical literature consists of the- 
three pitakas or Tripitakas or Tfpitakas. The 
word Pitaka means a basket containing manuscripts. 
According to Mahamahopadhaya Dr. Haraprasad 
Shastri, it is an oval shaped cane basket with a 
pyramidal lid, the whole covered* with leather 
(Buddhistic Studies edited by Dr. B. C. Law, 
p. 846). The secondary meaning of Pitaka is 
traditional handing on ". Mrs. Rhys Davids in 

recently published book, ' Sakya or Buddhist 
origins' (Appendix I, p. 431) says that in this 
secondary meaning it was no far cry to accept the 
word for that which by the time the third or the 
Abhidhamma Pitaka was finished, considerably 
later than the date of the Patna Congress, was 
an accomplished fact. The Tripitaka consists of 
the three pitakas, the Vinaya, the Sutta and the 

The Vinaya Pitaka 1 really means a basket 
containing manuscripts of Vinaya or the rules of 

1 Read the Vinaya Texts. S.B.E., Vols. XIII, XVII, and XX 
Translations from the Pali Vinaya Pi^akam by Rhys Davids and 
Oldenberg. There is a book called Vinaya Sarhgaha which is a 
summary of the Vinaya Pitaka divided into various sections giving 
concise explanations of Vinaya rules. Read in this connection a 
Pali work on Vinaya known as the Vinayalankaratika especially 
adapted for the observance of the rules of the priesthood by the 
Buddhist monks compiled by Tipitakalankara Thera of Burma 
at the request of the King of Burma named Sirisudhammaraja 
of the sixteenth century A.D. 

Louis Finot . . Fragments du Vinaya Sanskrit (Journal Asia- 

tique, Paris, 1911). 
R. O. Franke . . Die Gathas des Vinayapitaka und ihre Paral- 

lellon (Wiener Zeitschrift fur die kunde des 

morgenlandes, Wien, 1910). 

44 A History of Pali Literature 

discipline. It contains rules and regulations for the 
management of the Buddhist Samgha, and for the 
conduct of the daily life of monks and^nuns. Rules 
for reception into the Order, for the periodical 
confession of sins, for life during the rainy season, 
for housing, clothing, medicinal remedies, and legal 
procedure in case of schism, are also included in it. 

Sukumar Dutt . . Early Buddhist Monachism, 600 B.C.-100 B.C. 

(Trabner's Oriental Series, 1924). In this 
book the author treats of the following 
topics : 

(a) The Laws of the Vinaya Pi^aka and their 
^ interpretation. 

(6) The primitive Paribrajakas. A theory 
of their origin. 

(c) The Samgha and the Patimokkha : 

Development of the latter. The author 
has done some justice to the Pacittiva 

(d) The Patimokkha as a ritual. 

(e) The growth of the Buddhist Ccenobium. 

In this chapter the author discusses 

about the uposatha catudissa samgha, 

vassa, avasas, etc. 
(/) The International polity of a Buddhist 

Samgha i.e. the sarhgha-kammas are 

treated of in it. 
(</) Communal life at an avasa. 

All these chapters make up the chief contents of the Vinaya 
Pitaka. The book is interesting and may be useful in studying 
the Vinaya rules. Vide also the Vinayapi^akam and Early 
Buddhist Monasticism in its Growth and Development by Sukumar 
Dutt (Journal of the Department of Letters, Vol. X, 1923. Cal. 
Univ.). The Vinayagulhatthadipanl is an explanation of difficult 
passages in the Vinaya Pi^aka (Mabel Bode, The Pali Literature 
of Burma, p. 18). 

Jan Jaworski la section des Remedes dans la Vinaya des 
Mahigasaka et dans le Vinaya Pali. J. Przyluski Fables in the 
Vinaya Pit-aka of the Sarvastivada School, I.H.Q., Vol. V, March 

M. Nagai's paper on * Buddhist Vinaya Discipline or Buddhist 
Commandments ' (published in the Buddhistic Studies, edited by 
Dr. B. C. Law, pp. 365-382) is an admirable contribution. In this 
paper Nagai has discussed the following points : (a) the position 
of the Vinaya Pi$aka in the Buddhist Texts, (6) fundamentals of 
the Vinaya Pi^aka, (c) varieties of the Vinaya Pifaka, (d) four 
Parajika, (e) thirteen Sangha-va6esas, (/) thirty nihsargikapata- 
yantikas, (g) ninety Patayantikas, (h) one hundred 6aiksa, (i) 
meat and garlic, (/) motive underlying inhibitions, (k) command- 
ments to Bodhisattva, and (I) five and ten commandments. 

Canonical Pali Literature 45- 

These rules are supposed to have been laid down 
by the Buddha himself as occasion necessitated 
their promuigation. Stories have also found a 
place in it, some of them give us fragments of the 
Buddha legend while others throw a flood of light 
on the daily life of ancient India. These stories 
are illustrative of the occasion when the Buddha 
was constrained to have recourse to folklore with 
a view to teach morality to his pupils. The greater 
portion of the Vinaya Pitaka appears to be dry and 
the technicalities therein have rendered the work 
an unpleasant reading in spite of the narrative 
of events in the life of Buddha The Vinaya 
Pitaka is, in one word, an account of the Buddhist 
Church or Order (Samgha). 

The Vinaya, as known in Burma, is the monas- 
code handed down by the Theravadin sect in 
Ceylon. The influence of Ceylon on Burma has 
been paramount in questions of monastic discipline 
and the code drawn up by the ancient Sinhalese 
theras has been carefully preserved by the Burmese 
fraternity in the letter and the spirit ever since its 
arrival in Burma in the llth century. A great 
deal of the Vinaya literature, mostly explanatory 
and sometimes controversial, has grown up round 
the code from the time of the early commentators 
to the present day. The important works by 
Sinhalese authors on Vinaya formed the base of 
Burmese studies (Mabel Bode, Pali Literature of 
Burma, p. 5). 

The Vinaya Pitaka consists of the following 
books : (1) Suttavibhanga, (2) Khaiidhakas, (3) 
Parivara, and (4) Patimokkha. 

The first is subdivided into (a) Parajika, and 
(6) Pacittiya. The second comprises (i) Maha- 
vagga, and (ii) Cullavagga. 

1. The Suttavibhanga means the explanations 
or expositions of the suttas. The word * Sutta ' 
corresponds to the Sanskrit * Sutra ' and literally 
means * thread '. " It is applied to a kind of book, 
the contents of which are, as it were, a thread, giving 

46 A History of Pali Literature 

the gist or substance of more than is expressed in 
them in words. This sort of book was the latest 
development in Vedic literature ju/t before and 
after the rise of Buddhism " (Rhys Davids, 
American Lectures, Buddhism, its history $nd 
literature, pp. 53-54). The Buddhists used this 
word to mean a discourse, or a chapter. In the 
language of Rhys Davids, a savant of hallowed 
memory, the Suttavibhanga " tells us firstly how 
and when and why the particular rule in question 
<came to be laid down. This historical introduction 
always closes with the words of the rule in full. 
Then follows a* very ^ancient word for word com- 
mentary so old that it was already about B.C. 400 
(the probably approximate date of the Suttavi- 
bhanga) considered so sacred that it was included 
in the canon. And the old commentary is succeed^.,- 
where necessary, by further explanations and dis- 
oussioiis of doubtful points. These are sometimes 
of very great historical value. The discussions, 
for instance (in the rules as to murder and theft), 
of what constitutes murder, and what constitutes 
theft, anticipate in a very remarkable degree the 
kind of fine-drawn distinctions found in modern 
law books. The passages when made accessible, 
in translation, to Western scholars, must be of the 
greatest interest to students of the history of law, 
.as they are quite the oldest documents of that 
particular kind in the world." 

The Suttavibhanga lays down and explains all 
the rules which are contained in the Patimokkha. 
It is divided into two books : (a) Parajika (Chinese 
Po-lo-i), and (b) Pacittiya (Po-yeh-to) after the two 
main heads into which offences are divided, viz. 
{i) Parajikas the punishment for which was expulsion 
from the Order, and (ii) Pacittiyas for which some 
-expiation was laid down. Both the Parajika l and 
the Pacittiya 2 deal with two hundred and twenty- 

1 This section consists of four rules only according to the Chinese. 

2 It includes 90 rules but the Pali book gives 92 rules. 

Canonical Pali Literature 47 

seven rules for the guidance of the bhikkhus in 
determining the offences and the disputes of the 
bhikkhus an<^ formulating punishment. The two 
hundred and twenty-seven rules are divided into 
eight sections, viz. Parajika dhamma (rules con- 
cefning those acts which bring about defeat) 1 , 
Sanghadisesa 2 (Chinese Seng-kia-po-sha) dhamma 
(rules which require formal meetings of the Order), 
Aniyata dhamma (rules regarding undetermined 
matters), Nissaggiya pacittiya dhamma (Pacittiya 
rules involving forfeiture), Pacittiya dhamma (rules 
requiring repentance), Patidesaniya dhamma (rules 
regarding matters which ought to be confessed), 
Sekhiya dhamma 3 (Chinese Chung-hioh, rules of 
etiquette), and Adhikarana-Samatha dhamma (rules 
regarding the settlement of cases) which form what 
is known as the Patimokkha code of the Vinaya 

I tf(MpM4P^ */ 

Pitaka. We hold with Rhys Davids and Olden- 
berg that the Patimokkha* seems to have owed 
its existence to the ancient Indian custom of hold- 
,ing sacred two periods in each month, the times 
of the Full Moon (Vinaya Texts, I, S.B.E., p. x). 

1 Defeat in a bhikkhu's endeavour to achieve the end for which 
he entered the Order in order to reach the supreme goal of Arahat- 

2 It includes 13 rules requiring a distinct confession before an 
assembly of not less than five Brethren and the infliction of penance 
according to their decision. 

8 Sekhiya dhamma means dhammas to be studied by way of 
personal discipline consisting of 100 rules but the Pali list gives 
only 75 rules. 

4 Read (i) Minayeff's Edition of the Pratimoksa sutra, St. 
Petersburg, Akad, 1869. 

(ii) The Pali Text with a translation and Notes by J. F. 
Dickson M.A., (J.R.A.S., New Series, 1876). 

(iii) A valuable translation of the Patimokkha from Pali 
was published in 1839 by Rev. D. J. Gogerly in the Ceylon Friend, 
Vol. Ill, and was republished in 1862, together with a translation 
from Chinese by Rev. S. Beal (J.R.A.S., Second Series, Vol. XIX), 

(iv) Pandit Vidhusekhar Shastrf s Devanagari Ed. with a 
Bengali translation of the Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Patimokkha 
published in 1323 B.S. may bo consulted. Notes wherever 
necessary are given therein. 

48 A History of Pali Literature 

The Brothers and Sisters used to convene 
meetings * twice in each month (on the fourteenth 
or fifteenth day) to confess to the ( ; assembly the 
sins and faults which they had committed. The 
object of the confession was to take upon them- 
selves the punishment which, they believed, would 
atone for their sin. " The completion of the 
recitation is, therefore, the evidence that all who 
have taken part in it are pure in respect of the 
specified offences. And this is the origin of that 
second name, the Patimokkha, which means the 
Acquittal, or Deliverance or Discharge." 

The Patrniokkha, 2 was composed to be used at 
such penitential assemblies. It contains a list of 

1 The second book of the Mahavagga contains proceedings of 
these gatherings. -*r 

2 So-sor-thar-pa or a code of Buddhist monastic laws : Being 
the Tibetan version of Pratimoksa of the Mula Sarvastivada School. 
Edited and translated by Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Satis Chandra 
Vidyabhusana, M.A., Ph.D., F.A.S.B. The Tibetan text with an 
English translation corresponds to Po-lo-ti-mo-oa in Chinese or 
Patimokkha in Pali which signifies literally " disburdenment of 
each individual's sins " but includes in fact a complete code of 
monastic laws. A short summary of the So-sor-thar-pa is contained 
in the Mahavyutpatti. The So-sor-thar-pa is well received in 
Tibet. In every respectable monastery it is recited with reverence 
by the senior Lama on the full -moon and new -moon days. It 
contains a set of rules to be observed by monks. This book con- 
tains 258 rules while the Pali Patimokkha, 227 rules. The Pali 
Patimokkha passed through the three Buddhist councils was 
reduced to writing in Ceylon in the reign of Va^t^tg&niani (10476 
B.C.). Dr. Vidyabhusana has given a table to show the correspon- 
dence between the rules of the Tibetan So-sor-thar-pa and those 
of the Pali Patimokkha. The Tibetan Patimokkha contains four 
rules regarding defeat, 13 rules regarding suspension from monk- 
hood, two rules regarding undetermined matters, 30 rules regard- 
ing sins which involve forfeiture, 90 rules regarding sins which 
require expiation, four rules regarding matter to be confessed, 
seven rules for the settlement of disputes, etc. 

An interesting article on Patimokkha by T. W. Rhys Davids 
is published in Hasting's Ency. of Religion and Ethics, Vol. IX, 
pp. 675-677. Cf. also E. Burnouf, Introduction a i'hist du Boud- 
dhisme indien, Paris, 1844. 

Vide Kern's Manual of Indian Buddhism, pp. 85-88. 

There is a glossary on this work called Patimokkhagan^lu 
which interprets the laws of the Buddhist priesthood. 

Read comparative arrangement of two translations of the 
Buddhist ritual for the priesthood known as the Pratimoksha 

Canonical Pali Literature 49 

offences which require confession and expiation. 
The Patimokkha consists of the following sections : 
(I) Pucchavisoajjanam interrogatories relating to 
the requisites for forming a chapter, (II) Nidanam 
introductory portion, (III) Parajika four deadly 
sins; 1 (IV) Samghadisesa the thirteen faults involv- 
ing temporary separation from the priesthood, 

(V) Aniyata dhamma two undetermined offences, 

(VI) Nissaggiya pacittiya dhamma the thirty faults 
requiring confession and absolution and involving 
forfeiture of the article in reference to which the 
offence has been committed, (VII) Pacittiya 
dhamma 92 faiilts requiring eqnfession and absolu- 
tion, (VIII) Patidesaniya dhamma four offences 
requiring confession, (IX) Sekhiya dhamma 72 
rules of conduct, (X) Adhikaranasamatha dhamma 
seven rules for settling cases. A brief summary of 
tliese chapters is given below. The Patimokkha is 
rather a register of sins containing 227 articles. The 
number of the Patimokkha rules varies in different 
cpuntries : in Tibet they amount to 253 and in 
China 250. These articles were read out in the 
meetings referred to above and the assembled 
Brothers and Sisters were asked to confess the 
offences referred to if committed by them. The 
various offences have been grouped under two main 
heads one for the Brothers and the other for the 
Sisters. The former is called Bhikkhupatimokkha * 
while the latter is named Bhikkhumpatimokkha. 
In each of these two parts, the offences have been 
divided into different classes in an unsatisfactory 

In the introduction (nidana) to the Patimokkha 
we read that on the fifteenth day of the half month, 
the members of the Samgha assembled after per- 
forming the Uposatha ceremony, should recite the 
Patimokkha which contains various rules of conduct 

or Patimokkham by S. Beal from the Chinese and D. J. Gogerly 
from the Pali (J.R.A.S., 1802). 

1 Vide M. Nagai Cornparaison du Bhikkhu-patimokkha en 
chinois et en pali. 


50 A History of Pali Literature 

of the Bhikkhus of the Order. The procedure is 
that each and every set of rules is recited before the 
Bhikkhus ; and immediately after he recitation, 
each and every one of them is thrice asked if he is* 
guilty of any of these rules. If any Bhikkhu is 
guilty he should confess his fault before 'the 
assembly. If he has not incurred any such fault, 
he should remain silent, and his silence will give 
hint to the presiding Bhikkhu that he is pure. 


First of all, the four rules, concerning those 
acts which bring ab6ut defeat should be recited in 
a meeting of the Samgha. The four rules, in short, 
relate to four conditions of defeat in the effort to 
accomplish the object for which a Bhikkhu has 
entered the Order. If a Bhikkhu acquires -&^ 
carnal knowledge of any one, down even to an 
animal, or takes a thing which is not given him, 
or deprives or helps to deprive a human being of 
his life or utters praises of death and self -destruction, 
or utters a fruitless falsehood with respect to his 
knowledge and insight, that Bhikkhu falls in defeat, 
and he is no longer in communion. 


Next, the thirteen matters, which in their 
earlier as well as in their later stages, require formal 
meetings of the Order, are recited. If a Bhikkhu 
emits semen by design, or comes into contact with 
a woman in touch, words or thought, or acts as a 
go-between between a man and a woman, he vio- 
lates a Samghadisesa rule. If a Bhikkhu builds 
for himself or for others as well without the approval 
of the fellow Bhikkhus a hut or residence on a 
dangerous site not having any open space around it 
and exceeding the due measurements, he violates 
a Samghadisesa rule. If a Bhikkhu in harshness, 
malice or anger harasses another Bhikkhu by a 
groundless or unimportant charge of having com- 

Canonical Pali Literature 51 

mitted a Parajika offence, he commits a Samghadi- 
sesa offence. If a Bhikkhu or Bhikkhus causes 
or cause or ev v f n helps or help to cause a division 
in a community even after repeated warnings 
and requests to the contrary, that Bhikkhu or 
those Bhikkhus trangresses or trangress a Samghadi- 
sesa rule. If a Bhikkhu refuses to listen to what 
is spoken to him, or himself speaks to others 
according to the Dhamma, and insists on such 
conduct even after repeated requests, that Bhikkhu 
commits a Samghadisesa offence. If a Bhikkhu 
leads a life hurtful and of bad effect to the faith, 
and he insists on it even after, warnings, he too is 
guilty of transgressing a Samghadisesa rule. If 
any Bhikkhu is guilty of transgressing any of these 
rules, he should be on probation for as many days 
as he has knowingly concealed his sin. Next, 

* c^**v o %/ ' 

for six further days, he should undergo the Manatta 
discipline 1 and after that he should be reinstated 
in a congregation of at least twenty Bhikkhus. 



The two rules regarding undetermined matters 
are next recited. If a Bhikkhu takes a seat with a 
woman in secret suitable for sexual intercourse, 
and if a trustworthy woman seeing it charges him 
under one or other of the three rules the Parajika, 
the Samghadisesa, or the Pacittiya that Bhikkhu, 
if he acknowledges his offence, should be dealt with 
accordingly. Even if his seat be such as con- 

1 Vide Cullavagga, II, 6-8. This is the name of some sort of 
penance or punishment attached to the commission of a Samghadi- 
sesa offence, manattam deti or samadiyati means to undergo 
penance. Manatta may be either apafacchanna, that is, penance 
for an offence which has been confessed or paticchanna, that is, 
penance for an offence which lias been concealed ; in the latter 
case it is combined with parivasa (Childers* Pali Dictionary, p. 235 
and P.T.S. Dictionary, p. 152). 

2 Aniyato literally means uncertain, doubtful. Aniyata dham- 
ma means " undetermined offences " because it depends upon 
circumstances whether they are to be treated as Parajika, Samghadi- 
sesa, or Pacittiya (vide Childers' Pali Dictionary, p. 35). 

52 A History of Pali Literature 

venient for addressing wicked and alluring words, 
and if he is charged under the Samghadisesa or 
Pacittiya rules, he should be dealfr with accord- 
ingly, in case he acknowledges his offence. f 


The thirty Pacittiya Rules involving forfeiture 
are next recited. If a Bhikkhu keeps a robe even 
beyond the time limit of ten days after the settle- 
ment of the robes and the performance of the 
Kathina ceremony by the Bhikkhu, or, if he, in 
similar circumstances, be without his three robes, 
even for a single night, unless with the permission 
of the other Bhikkhus, in each case he commits 
a Pacittiya offence involving forfeiture. When the 
robes have been settled and the Kathina ceremony 
performed by the Bhikkhu, if then a set of insuffi- 
cient robes is offered to him, he may keep it till 
the end of a month in course of which he may 
hope to be supplied with the deficiency. But 
if he keeps it beyond one month, he commits a 
Pacittiya offence requiring forfeiture. If a Bhikkhu 
accepts a robe except in exchange, or has it washed 
or dyed or beaten by a Bhikkhum not related to 
him, he commits a similar offence. If a Bhikkhu 
asks a householder or his wife, not related to him, 
for a robe, except at the right season, he commits 
a similar offence. If his asking is granted, he 
should accept only the just required portion of inner 
and outer robes ; if he takes more, he commits a 
similar offence. If a Bhikkhu desirous of a fine 
robe, makes suggestions to the party or parties 
concerned for a particular kind of robe according to 
his wish, he commits a similar offence. If any 
agent of a Bhikkhu accepts robe-fund (i.e., money) 
from any lay-devotee to provide his chief (i.e., 
the Bhikkhu) with robes, then the Bhikkhu con- 
cerned may remind his agent, up to the sixth time, 
that he is in need of a set of robes. If he does not 
get his robes even then, he should not make any 

Canonical Pali Literature 5 

further request ; if he does, he commits a Pacittiya 
offence involving forfeiture. 

t If a BhikShu possesses a rug or mat made of 
silk * or made of pure black wool of goat's hair, 
he commits a Pacittiya offence involving forfeiture. 
If a Bhikkhu makes a new rug without taking two 
parts of pure black wool, the third of white, and the 
fourth of tawny and if he makes another new rug 
within a period of six years unless with the per- 
mission of the Bhikkhus, in each case, he commits 
a Pacittiya offence involving forfeiture. If a 
Bhikkhu makes a new seat-rug without taking two 
parts of pure black wool, the 'third ef white, and 
the fourth of tawny and if he makes another new 
rug within a period of six years unless with the 
permission of the Bhikkhus, in each case, he com- 
mits a Pacittiya offence involving forfeiture. If a 
Bhikkhu makes a new seat-rug without taking the 
breadth of the accepted span from all round the old 
one, if he accepts and then carries himself or with 
the help of a porter some goat's wool beyond a 
distance of three leagues, if he gets goat's wool 
washed, dyed or combed out by a Bhikkhum not 
related to him, if he receives, directly or indirectly 
gold or silver or engages himself in any one of the 
various transactions in which silver is used or in 
any one of the various kinds of buying and selling 
then in each case, he commits a Pacittiya offence 
involving forfeiture. 

If a Bhikkhu keeps a spare bowl beyond the 
limit of ten days, or gets another bowl in exchange 
for an old one broken in less than five places or 
stores up medicine ghee, butter, oil, honey, and 
molasses beyond the limit of seven days, he 
commits in each case, a Pacittiya offence involving 
forfeiture. If a Bhikkhu provides himself with 
materials for robes for the rainy season when more 
than a month of the hot days has yet to run, or 

1 Kosiyainissakam santhatam. The correct spelling is santata 
meaning a rug or mat. 

54 A History of Pali Literature 

makes and wears them when more than half a 
month of the summer has yet to r^n, he commits 
a similar offence. If a Bhikkhu takes back a sefc 
of robes given by him to another Bhikkhu or him- 
self asks for yarn and has it woven by weavers into 
cloth for a set of robes, he is guilty of the same 
offence. If a Bhikkhu gives suggestion to a weaver 
to whom a lay-devotee has given orders for a set 
of robes to be woven for that particular Bhikkhu, 
then in that case also he commits a Pacittiya offence 
involving forfeiture for his having given directions 
to the weaver even before the offer was made. 
If a Bhikkhil keeps a robe that has fallen to his 
lot as a special gift, ten days before the full-moon 
night in the month of Kartic beyond the time 
when the robes are settled, he commits a similar 
offence with similar results. If a Bhikkhu separ&ESs 
himself from any one of his three robes beyond 
the sixth night except by permission from the 
Bhikkhus, or causes to be diverted to himself any 
benefit already dedicated to the Samgha, in eacn 
case he commits a Pacittiya offence involving for- 


If a Bhikkhu tells a deliberate lie or uses 
abusive language or speaks ill of another Bhikkhu 
or causes one not received into the higher grade 
of the Order to recite the Dhamma, clause by 
clause or lies down to sleep for more than three 
nights in the same place with one not received into 
the higher grade of the Order, or lies down in the 
same place with a woman or preaches the Dhamma 
in more than five or six words to a woman without 
a man arrived at years of discretion, or tells one 
not received into the higher grade of the Order 
that he or any other Bhikkhu has extraordinary 
spiritual gifts, or that any other Bhikkhu has fallen 

1 Pacittiya means expiatory. There are 92 Pacittiya Dhamma 
or priestly offences requiring confession and absolution. 

Canonical Pali Literature 55 

into any grave offence or digs the ground or has 
it dug, then that Bhikkhu commits, in each of these 
cases, a Pacittiya offence. 

If a Bhikkhu exhorts the Bhikkhunls without 

being deputed thereto or even when deputed does 
so after sun-set or goes to the dwelling place of the 
Bhikkhunls to exhort them there except on the 
right occasion or exhorts them for the sake of gain 
or gives a robe to a Bhikkhuni who is not related 
to him except in exchange or makes up a robe or 
has it made up for a Bhikkhuni who is not related 
to him or travels by appointment, along a high 
road in company with a Bhikkhuni except on the 
right occasion or in similar circumstances goes 
on board the same boat except for the purpose of 
crossing over to the other side or knowingly eats 
food procured by the intervention of a Bhikkhuni 
or takes seat in a secret place with a Bhikkhuni 
then, in each of these cases, that Bhikkhu commits a 
Pacittiya offence. 

If a Bhikkhu (who is not sick) takes more than 
one meal at a public rest house or goes in a body 
to receive a meal except on the right occasion or 
takes food in turn except on the right occasion or 
accepts more than two or three bowls full of sweet- 
meats and cakes when invited to a house to take 
as much as he likes, or partakes of food that has 
not been left over, even after he has once finished 
his meal or after he has finished his meal again 
eats food offered by a Bhikkhu desirous of deli- 
berately stirring up longing in him or takes food 
at the wrong time or eats food that has been put 
by or takes when he is not sick, ghee, butter, oil, 
honey, molasses, flesh, fish, milk, and curd or places, 
as food, within the door of his mouth, anything 
not given to him, save only water and a tooth- 
cleaner, then in each of these cases, he commits 
a Pacittiya offence. 

If a Bhikkhu gives with his own hand food to 
an Acelaka, or a Paribbajaka, or a Paribbajika ; 
or takes in company a Bhikkhu for a meal to the 

56 A History of Pali Literature 

neighbouring village or town, but abruptly sends 
him away and gets rid of him in order to gain a 
purpose of his own or forces his way* into a house 
where a meal is going on, or takes a seat in secret 
with a woman in a concealed place then in each of 
these cases, he commits a Pacittiya offence. If a 
Bhikkhu who has already been provided with a 
meal, goes out without having previously spoken 
about it to a Bhikkhu, (if there is any one there), 
goes out a begging either before or after meal-time, 
except on the right occasion, or accepts a standing 
invitation with regard to the requisites for more 
than four months (unless there be a second or 
perpetual invitation) or goes out to see an army 
drawn up in battle-array, or to the numbering 
or drawing up of forces, or to a review while 
remaining with the army, then in each of thes^ 
cases, he transgresses a Pacittiya Dhamma. 

If a Bhikkhu drinks fermented liquor or strong 
drinks, or pokes another person with the finger, 
or sports in the water, or shows disrespect * towards 
a Bhikkhuni or frightens a Bhikkhum, or in order 
to warm himself, kindles a fire without sufficient 
cause, or takes bath at intervals of less than half- 
a-month except on the proper occasion, or makes 
use of a new robe without choosing one or other 
of the three modes of disfigurement, or continues 
to make use of a robe, which he has already given 
over to another Bhikkhu, Bhikkhuni, Sikkhamana, 
Samanera, or Samaneri, as a thing not formally 
given, or hides or causes another to hide a Bhikkhu's 
absolute belongings, then in each of these cases, 
he commits a Pacittiya offence. 

If a Bhikkhu deliberately deprives any living 
thing of life or knowingly drinks water with living 
things in it, or stirs up for decision a matter which 
has already been settled according to the Dhamma, 
or conceals a serious offence committed by another 
Bhikkhu or admits a person under twenty years of 

1 The Pali word is anadariya. 

Canonical Pali Literature 57 

age to the higher grade of the Order, or travels, 
by appointment, with a caravan of robbers, or does 
so by appointment, with a woman, or brings false 
accusations against the Blessed One even after 
repeated warnings and admonitions or eats, dwells, 
or sleeps with a Bhikkhu who similarly brings false 
witness against the Blessed One or acts similarly 
with a novice who has been expelled for bringing 
in false witness against the Blessed One, then in 
each of these cases, he commits a Pacittiya offence. 

If a Bhikkhu refuses to submit to the admoni- 
tions of fellow Bhikkhus in respect of some pre- 
cepts in accordance with the Dhamma, or dis- 
regards precepts of the Patimokkha, or fails to take 
the Patimokkha to heart when it is being recited, 
and fails to attend to it with care, or being angry 
cr displeased gives a blow, or makes a threatening 
gesture to another Bhikkhu, or harasses a Bhikkhu 
with a Samghadisesa charge without ground, or 
intentionally suggests difficulties of conscience to a 
Bhikkhu with the idea of giving him trouble or 
overhears other Bhikkhus engaged in disputes or 
quarrels, or grumbles about proceedings though 
he has already declared his consent to formal 
proceedings according to the Dhamma or rises from 
his seat and goes away without declaring his con- 
sent, when the Saihgha is conducting a formal 
enquiry, or grumbles about a robe which he has 
already given away in a regularly constituted 
Samgha, or knowingly diverts to the use of any 
individual a property dedicated to the Samgha, 
then in each of these cases, he commits a Pacittiya 

If a Bhikkhu crosses without having announced 
the threshold of an anointed Khattiya King, when 
the King and the Queen have not gone forth, or 
picks up or causes another to pick up, except in a 
grove or in a dwelling place, a jewel or the like, 
or enters in unearthly hours, a village without 
having informed a Bhikkhu (if one is present) 
except on business, or uses a needle case made 

58 A History of Pali Literature 

of ivory, bone or horn, or makes a new bedstead 
that exceeds the due measurement, or uses a chair 
or bedstead stuffed with cotton, or uses a rug 01 
mat-seat not made of the right measurement or 
garment for the rainy season not made of the righl 
measurement or an itch-cloth that exceeds the due 
measurement, or uses a robe that is equal to or 
larger than the measurement of the robe of the 
Master, then, in each of these cases, there is a 
Pacittiya offence. 


The four rules regarding matters which ought 
to be confessed are next recited. If a Bhikkhu 
accepts and eats food given by a Bhikkhum not 
related to him, that is an offence which he should 
confess. If a Bhikkhum stands and gives directioli 
as to serving the dishes to a number of Bhikkhus 
who are taking a meal, and the Bhikkhus fail 
to rebuke her, then that is an offence which the 
Bhikkhus should confess. If a Bhikkhu accepts* 
without having been previously invited, food with 
his own hand in a household under discipline, then 
that is also an offence which ought to be confessed. 
If a Bhikkhu living in an insecure and dangerous 
forest-dwelling accepts food with his own hand 
at his place without having previously given notice 
of the danger to those who enter the forest, then 
that too is an offence which ought to be confessed. 


The rules regarding matters connected with 
discipline should be next recited. 

A Bhikkhu should put on his undergarment 
and robe all around him. He should go and take 
his seat properly clad amidst the houses, with his 

1 Pafadesaniya means that which ought to be confessed. 

2 Minor precepts regulating the conduct of the priest and apply- 
ing to his mode of dress, department, eating, etc. They are also 
known as Sekhiyavattam (Childers' Pali Dictionary, p. 472). 

Canonical Pali Literature 59 

body under proper control, his eyes downcast, and 
his robes nc4> pulled up. 

He should not laugh loudly, should make 
but little sound, and he should not sway his body, 
arms or head while going and taking his seat amidst 
the houses. 

He should not put the hands on the hips (i.e., 
to keep arms not akimbo), or keep his head covered, 
or walk on his heels or toes, or loll (i.e., make rest 
with his hands or with a cloth) while going and 
taking his seat amidst the houses. He should keep 
his mind alert and receive alms with attention to 
his bowl and with equal curry and equally full. 

He should eat the alms with mind alert and 
with attention to his bowl. He should beg straight 
on from house to house and eat the alms placed 
in his bowl with equal curry, but without pressing 
down from the top. He should not cover the curry 
or condiment with the rice in order to make it nice. 
He should neither ask curry nor rice for his own 
particular use (unless he is sick), nor should he with 
envious thoughts look at others' bowls. He should 
make his food into round mouthfulls and not into 
too large balls. 

He should not open his mouth till the food- 
ball is brought close, nor should he put his whole 
hand into the mouth. He should not talk while 
the food is in his mouth, nor should he toss the food 
into his mouth. He should eat without nibbling 
at the balls of food, without stuffing his cheeks, 
without shaking his hands about, without scattering 
the lumps of boiled rice, without putting out his 
tongue, and finally without smacking his lips. 

He should eat further without making a hissing 
sound and without licking his fingers or his bowl 
or his lips. He should not take hold of the water- 
jar with a hand soiled with food, nor throw into the 
inner court the rinsings of the bowl mixed with lumps 
of boiled rice. He should not preach the Dhamma 
to a person with a sunshade or a stuff, or a sword,, 
or a weapon in his hand (unless he is sick). 

60 A History of Pali Literature 

He should not preach the Dhamma also to a 
person wearing slippers or sandals, or seated in a 
cart, or lying on a couch, or lolling, or Adth a turban 
on his head, or with his head otherwise covered, 
unless he is sick. He should not preach the Dhamma 
himself seated on the earth, or on a low seat, or 
standing, to a person who is respectively seated 
on a seat, or on a high seat, or sitting (unless he is 

He who is walking behind or by the side of the 
path, should not preach the Dhamma to a person 
who is walking respectively in front of him or walk- 
ing on a path unless he is sick. 

He should not ease himself standing on growing 
grass or into water. 

All these are rules of discipline which ought 
to be observed. 


The seven rules regarding the settlement of 
Ceases are next recited. 
They are : 

(1) Proceeding in presence (Sammukha- 


(2) Proceeding for the consciously innocent 

(Sati vinaya). 

(3) Proceeding in the case of those who 

are no longer out of their mind 
(Amulha vinaya). 

(4) Proceeding on confession of guilt 


(5) Proceeding by majority of the Chapter 


(6) Proceeding for the obstinate (Tissa- 


(7) Proceeding by covering over as with 

grass (Tinavattharaka). 

These are the words of the Blessed One handed 
down in the suttas, and they should be recited 
every half-month. All Bhikkhus are fully expected 

Canonical Pali Literature 61 

to train themselves accordingly in concord, in 
pleasantness and without dispute. 

(2) The Khandhakas or Treatises in set frag- 
ments comprise two divisions : 

(i) The Mahavagga and (ii) The Cullavagga. 

The Mahavagga 1 is the greater division. It 
gives in the first chapter in a dignified archaic 
language an account of Gautama's attainment of 
enlightenment, determination of preaching the law 
and his winning the first disciples. The first sermon 
of the Buddha at Benares, the well-known Fire 
Sermon and the ordination of Rahula are also 
related herein. This book lays down rules for 
admission into the order, the observance of the 
Uposatha ceremony and the Patimokkha, the place 
of residence during the rainy season, the observance 
of the Pavarana ceremony, 2 foot-clothing, seats, 
conveyances, dress, etc. It prescribes rules for 
the determination of the validity and invalidity of 
the formal acts of the Samgha, and for the restora- 
tion of order in the Samgha. Certain medicines 
for certain specified diseases are also prescribed 
herein for the bhikkhus. " We obtain quite 
incidentally ", says Rhys Davids, " a very fair insight 
into a good deal of the medical lore current at 
that early period, that is about 400 B.C., in the 
valley of the Ganges. It is a pity that the current 
authorities on the history of law and medicine 
have entirely ignored the details obtainable from 
these ancient books of Buddhist Canon Law." 8 

It is worth mentioning here that in the 
Mahavagga we find evidence of the existence of an 
" ancient commentary " on which has been based 
the Suttavibhanga. The " ancient commentary " was 
a word for word commentary on the Patimokkha 

1 Read C. Bendall, *' Notes and Queries on passages in the 
Mahavagga "J.P.T.S., 1883. 

2 It is the name of the festival held at the end of the Buddhist 
vassa or lent. 

3 Rhys Davids, American Lectures on the history of Religions, 
Buddhism, its history and literature, pp. 57-58. 

62 A History of Pali Literature 

rules without relating why, when, where and con- 
cerning whom the said rules were formulated 
by the Master. These have been later on included 
in the Suttavibhanga. Hence the Suttavibhanga 
is an improvement on the ancient commentary 
which is found verbatim in the above work. The 
Mahavagga refers to Buddha's stay at Uruvela 
on the banks of the river Neranjara just after he 
had become Sambuddha and it relates the account 
of the events which happened under the Bodhi 
tree. Then it describes what passed under the 
Ajapala tree, the Mucalinda tree and the Rajayatana 
tree. It gives us the account of the conversion 
of Tapussa and Bhallika into Buddhism by the 
Buddha. This account has to say nothing about 
the three weeks immediately following the period 
spent under the great Bo-tree. The omission may 
however be due to incompleteness of the text itself. 
From the conversion of Tapussa and Bhallika, the 
thread of narrative runs to give an account of the 
meeting of the Buddha with Upaka, the Ajivaka, 
on his way to Benares via the city of Gaya, and 
of the preaching of the first sermon in the well- 
renowned Deer Park near Benares and the con- 
version of the first five disciples Anfiakondanna, 
Bhaddiya, Vappa, Assaji, and Mahanama. It 
records the history of the conversion of Yasa. Mara 1 
approached the Buddha and had a conversation 
with him. Hearing the utterances of the Buddha, 
he vanished. Buddha converted three Jatila 
brothers, Uruvela Kassapa, Nadi Kassapa, and Gaya 
Kassapa. An account of the ordination of Sari- 
putta and Moggallana is given in it. Duties towards 
an upajjhaya (preceptor) and a saddhiviharika 
(fellow priest) are detailed in it. In the account 
of Jivaka Komarabhacca given in the Mahavagga, 

1 Vide Dr. B. C. Law's Buddhist Conception of Mara published 
iri the Proceedings and Transactions of the Third Oriental Con- 
ference held at Madras. Vide also J. Przyluski-La place do Mara 
dans la mythologic bouddhique, pp. 483-493, J.A., Vol. ccx, January- 
March, pp. 115-123. 

Canonical Pali Literature 63 

we read that five diseases prevailed among the 
Magadhans, leprosy, boils, dry leprosy, consump- 
tion, and fite. The people affected with these 
five diseases went to Jivaka who used to treat 
King Bimbisara of Magadha and the members of 
the royal family. The Mahavagga furnishes us 
with an interesting account of Upali. Besides, 
there are various other topics discussed in it, e.g. 
ten precepts for novices, regulations for the Upasam- 
pada or ordination, Uposatha ceremonies, and the 
recital of the Patimokkha by the bhikkhus, the 
residence during the rainy season (vassa). 

Sona Kolivisa was ordained by the Buddha who 
instructed him to use shoes having one lining. 
He had eighty cart-loads of gold and a retinue 
of seven elephants. The bhikkhus were instructed 
by the Buddha not to wear shoes having edges of a 
blue, yellow, red, brown, black, orange or yellowish 
colour. Shoes with heel-coverings are not to be 
worn by the bhikkhus. The bhikkhus are not 
to wear shoes in the open arama. Wooden shoes 1 
*are not to be worn by them. Foot coverings 
made of talipat leaves are not to be worn. Shoes 
made of tina-grass, munja-grass, etc. are not to 
be used. The bhikkhus are allowed to use three 
kinds of clogs fixed to the ground, e.g. privy-clogs, 
urinal-clogs, and rinsing clogs. Calves should not 
be killed by them. The bhikkhus are allowed 
to use a sedan chair. Lofty and large things to 
recline upon are not to be used by them. Some 
skins, e.g. lion, tiger, panther, for skins are not to 
be used. The bhikkhus are allowed to sit down 
on seats arranged by laymen but not to lie down 
on them. They are allowed to have bath con- 
stantly in all the border countries which are situated 
beyond Mahasala, beyond the river Salalavati, 
beyond Thuna 2 and beyond Usiradhaja. 8 Shoes 

1 KaMhapaduka-Vinaya Pifcika, Vol. I, p. 189. 

2 A brahmin village in the Majjhimadesa (Jataka, Vol. VI, 
pp. 62, 65). 

8 A pabbata in the Majjhimadesa. 

64 A History of Pali Literatwre 

with thick linings are allowed for the bhikkhus 
to use in all these border countries. The Maha- 
vagga prescribes the five medicament, e.g. ghee, 
butter, oil, honey, and molasses. The bhikkhus 
are permitted to use them at the right time and 
at other times. The bhikkhus are allowed to use 
the fat of bears, fish, alligators, swine, and asses 
if received at the right time, cooked at the right 
time, mixed at the right time, to be partaken of 
with oil. The use of certain roots as medicines 
are allowed for the bhikkhus turmeric, ginger, 
orris root, white orris root, ativisa, black hellebore, 
usira root, bhaddamuttaka. The use of astringent 
decoctions as medicine is allowed nimba, pakkava, 1 
nattamala, kutaja, 2 etc. The use of leaves and 
fruits as medicines is allowed, e.g. leaves of nimba, 
tulasi, kappasika, etc., pippala, haritaka, amalaka, 
etc. The use of gums and salts is allowed as 
medicines, hingu, sipatika, etc., sea-salt, black 
salt, rock salt, red-salt, etc. The use of raw flesh 
and blood is permissible in case of disease. The 
use of eye ointments is permissible. The bhikkhus 
are allowed the use of a little oil on the head, use 
of a double bag, a decoction of oil. The practice 
of taking medicine through the nose is permissible. 
The bhikkhus are allowed the use of three kinds of 
pots, e.g. bronze pots, wooden pots, and pots made 
of the shells of fruits. They are allowed the use 
of hot baths in water in which the medicinal herbs 
have been steeped. The use of artificial and 
natural juice is allowed. The bhikkhus can cook 
in-doors. No surgical operation is to be performed 
within a distance of two inches round the anus and 
a clyster is not to be used. The bhikkhus are not 
to eat elephants' flesh, dogs' flesh, serpents' flesh, 
lions' flesh, and hyenas' flesh. They are to take 
rice-milk and honey-lumps. The Mahavagga gives 
us an idea of the dress of the bhikkhus arid it 
describes the Kathina ceremonies. The bhikkhus 

1 A kind of creeper. 2 An antidote to dysentery. 

Canonical Pali Literature 65 

are allowed the use of a mantle, silk mantle, and 
woollen garments. They are also allowed the use 
of a dye-ladle 'or a scoop with a long handle and 
they can have the use of a trough for dyeing cloth in. 
The bhikkhus can use an under-robe of torn pieces, 
an upper-robe of torn pieces, and a waist cloth of 
torn pieces. They are allowed the use of gar- 
ments for the rainy season, the use of mat, the use 
of an itch-cloth when the bhikkhus have the itch 
and the use of a cloth to wipe the faces^with. There 
is a chapter dealing with validity and invalidity 
of formal acts of the Samgha. If an act is un- 
lawful and performed by an incomplete congrega- 
tion, such an act is objectionable and invalid on 
account of its unlawfulness and of incompleteness 
of the congregation. An official act which requires 
the presence of four persons if performed by a 
congregation in which a bhikkhum is the fourth 
is no real act and ought not to be performed. An 
account of the schisms of the Samgha is given in 
the Mahavagga. 

It will be interesting to note that the Maha- 
vagga in presenting a systematic history of the 
developments of the Buddhist Order only records a 
few episodes in the life of the Buddha. It leaves 
the life of Siddhartha out of account and starts 
the history just from the Buddhahood of Gautama. 
The justification for the inclusion of such a life 
history of the Buddha seems to be this that with 
the Buddhists, the whole set of laws regulating 
their life and conduct derived their authority 
from the Buddhahood and personality of the 

(ii) The Cullavagga is the smaller division. 
In it is found a number of edifying anecdotes, all 
connected with the life of the Buddha and history 
or constitution of the Order. It contains twelve 
khandhas. The first nine chapters deal with disci- 
plinary proceedings, different offences and expia- 
tions, settlement of disputes among the fraternity, 
the daily life of the bhikkhus, residence, furniture, 


66 A History of Pali Literature 

duties of bhikkhus towards one another, and the 
exclusion from the Patimokkha ceremony. The 
tenth chapter describes the duties of the nuns. 
The last two chapters, eleventh and twelfth, fur-* 
nish us with an account of the first two councils 
of Rajagaha 1 and Vesali and are regarded as later 
supplements. The rules are generally preceded 
by a history of the occasion on which the Buddha 
was supposed to have made them. 

The Cullavagga deals with the 12 cases of a 
proceeding (Kamma) which is against the law 
and 12 cases of a proceeding which is according 
to law. There are six permissible cases of Tajjaniya 
kamma (act of rebuke). A bhikkhu against whom 
the Tajjaniya kamma has been carried out, ought 
to conduct himself aright. He ought to confer 
upasampada or ordination ; he ought not to provide 
himself with a samanera or a novice, he ought not 
to accept the office of giving exhortation to the 
nuns and if he has accepted the office, he ought 
not to exhort the nuns. There are eighteen duties 
which follow on a Tajjaniya kamma and there are 
18 cases in which there ought to be no revocation 
of the Tajjaniya kamma and there are 18 cases 
in which there ought to be a revocation. 

Pabbajaniya kamma (act of excommunication) 
has been carried out by the Samgha against those 
bhikkhus who are followers of Assaji and Punab- 
basu to the effect that those bhikkhus who are 
followers of Assaji and Punabbasu are not to dwell 
on the Kita Hill. The Samgha approves of it. 

There are three kinds of bhikkhus against 
whom the Samgha, if it likes, should carry out the 
Pabbajaniya kamma, that is to say, one who is 
frivolous in action, in speech, and both in action 
and speech. 

1 Vide Przyluski's Le Concile de Rajagaha, 1928. It is an 
interesting and instructive treatise on the subject. Mrs. Rhys 
Davids in the 19th section of her ' Sakya or Buddhist Origins ' has 
ably discussed Buddhist councils, pp. 348 foil. 

Canonical Pali Literature 67 

There are acts of reconciliation (patisaraniya 
kamma). " TJie patisaraniya kamma has been 
carried out against the bhikkhu Sudhamma with the 
words, * You are to ask and obtain pardon of 
Citta, the householder '. The Samgha approves the 
motion. There are five kinds of bhikkhus against 
whom the Samgha, if it likes, should carry out 
the patisaraniya kamma, that is to say, one who 
goes about to bring loss on the laity, etc." 

There are acts of suspension for not acknowledg- 
ing, and for not atoning for an offence. Channa, 
the bhikkhu, has been subjected by the Samgha to 
the Ukkhepaniya kamma (act of suspension) for 
not acknowledging a fault. 

There are 18 cases in which a revocation of the 
Ukkhepaniya kamma on not renouncing a sinful 
doctrine should be carried out. 

If a meeting of four bhikkhus, of whom one is 
a probationer, should place a bhikkhu on proba- 
tion or throw him back to the beginning of his 
probationary course, or subject him to the manatta 
discipline or if a meeting of 20 bhikkhus, of whom 
one is a probationer, should rehabilitate a bhikkhu, 
that is an invalid act and need not be obeyed. 

There are three ways of interruption of the 
probationary period of a bhikkhu who has been 
placed under probation. The bhikkhu who has 
been placed under probation is to go up to a single 
bhikkhu and arranging his robe on one shoulder 
and squatting down on his heels and stretching 
forth his hands with the palms together, he is to 
say " I take my probation again upon myself ". 
Then the probation is resumed or he is to say 
" I take the duties of a probationer upon myself 
again ". Then also is the probation resumed. 

The bhikkhus are to follow three kammavacas, 
one for the throwing back, one for the inclusive 
probation, and one for the new manatta. 

There are proceedings on the breach of the 
first Samghadisesa. Let the Samgha impose upon 
the bhikkhu a probation for a further month for 

68 A History of Pali Literature 

those two Samghadisesa offences concealed for two 
months. If a bhikkhu while he is undergoing pro- 
bation, becomes a Samanera, there can happen no 
probation to him so long as he is a Samanera. ' 

There are 36 cases of fresh offences being 
committed whilst under probation. 

If a bhikkhu who is undergoing probation is 
guilty meanwhile of a number of Samghadisesa 
offences and concealing them throws off the robes 
and he, when he has again received the upasampada, 
does not conceal those offences the bhikkhu ought 
to be thrown back to the commencement of his 
term of probation and an inclusive probation 
ought to be imposed upon him corresponding to 
the period which has elapsed since the first offence 
among those offences which he has concealed. 

There are nine principal cases in which a 
bhikkhu is not purified by undergoing a term of 

The bhikkhus assembled in the Sarhgha were 
unable to settle the disputed question (that was 
brought before them) since they became violent, 
quarrelsome and disputatious and kept on wounding 
one another with sharp words. They were allowed 
to settle such a dispute by the vote of the majority. 

There are four kinds of legal questions requiring 
formal settlement by the Samgha, that is to say, 
legal questions arising out of (1) disputes, (2) 
censure, (3) offences, and (4) business. 

The bhikkhus are allowed to appoint on the 
jury a bhikkhu possessed of ten qualities. There 
are three ways of taking votes the secret method, 
the whispering method, and the open method. 
A bhikkhu who is the teller of the votes is to make 
the voting tickets of different colours and as each 
bhikkhu comes up to him he is to say to him thus, 
" This is the ticket for the man of such an opinion ; 
this is the ticket for the man of such an opinion. 
Take whichever you like." When he has chosen 
(he is to add) " Don't show it to anybody ". If 
he ascertains that those whose opinion is against the 

Canonical Pali Literature 89 

dhamma are in the majority, he is to reject the 
votes as wrongly taken. If he ascertains that 
those whose opinion is in accordance with the 
'dhamma are in the majority, he is to report the 
votes as well taken. This is the secret method of 
taking the votes. 

A bhikkhu who is the teller of the votes is to 
whisper in each bhikkhu's ear, " This is the ticket 
of those of such an opinion ; this is the ticket of 
those of such an opinion. Take whichever you 
like." When he has chosen (he is to add) " Don't 
tell anybody (which way you have voted) ". If 
he ascertains that those whose opinion is against 
the dhamma are in the majority, he is to reject the 
votes as wrongly taken. If he ascertains that 
those whose opinion is in accordance with the 
dhamma are in the majority, he is to report the 
votes as well taken. This is the whispering method 
of taking the votes. 

If a bhikkhu ascertains (beforehand) that those 
whose opinion is in accordance with the dhamma 
are in the majority, the vote is to be taken un- 
disguisedly, openly. This is the open method of 
taking the votes. 

The bhikkhus are not to wear long hair. They 
are not to smooth the hair with a comb. They 
are allowed the ordinary mode of shampooing with 
the hand. They are not to look at the image of 
their faces in a looking-glass or a bowl of water ; 
but they are allowed to do so only when they are 
ill. They are not to anoint their faces nor to rub 
ointment, etc. into their faces. They are not 
to go to see dancing, or singing, or music. They 
are not to wear woollen cloth with long fleece to it. 
They are not to put away their bowls with water 
in them. They are allowed to dry their bowls 
for a short time in a warm place and then to put 
them away. They are allowed the use of a mat 
made of grass, the use of a small cloth, the use of 
bags to carry their bowls in. They are not to put 
their bowls on the bed or on a chair. They are 

70 A History of Pali Literature 

not to keep their bowls on their laps. They are 
not to put them down on a sunshade. They are 
not to open the door with their bowls in their hands. 
They are allowed the use of a blade and of a sheath* 
(for the blade) made of felt. They can use needles 
and needlecase made of bamboo. They are allowed 
the use of a grass-mat, false threads, a box or drawer 
in the workshop. The bhikkhus are allowed to 
line the basement of a hall or a shed with facing of 
three kinds brick facing, stone facing, and wooden 
facing ; the use of stairs of three kinds brick 
stairs, stone stairs, and wooden stairs and the use 
of a balustrade. They are allowed to provide a 
railing for the cloister. They are allowed to face 
round the lower half of the wall with bricks. The 
use of a chimney is allowed. They are allowed the 
use of clay to spread over their faces, if their faces 
are scorched. A trough can be used by the bhikkhus 
to moisten the clay in. They are allowed to lay 
the floor with flooring of 3 kinds brick flooring, 
stone flooring, and wooden flooring. The use of & 
drain to carry off the water is allowed. The use of 
stools for the bathroom is allowed. They are allowed 
to enclose the bathroom with three kinds of 
enclosures brick walls, stone walls, and wooden 
fences. The bhikkhus can have an antechamber 
in the bathroom. Outlet in the antechamber of 
the bathroom is also allowed. The hall to the 
bathroom is allowed. Water vessels of three kinds 
can be used brass pots, wooden pots, and skins. 
The bhikkhus are allowed to make use of a towel 
and to wipe the water off with a cloth. They 
are allowed a tank. A stand for the bowl can be 
used. The bhikkhus are allowed the use of small 
jars and brooms, the use of fans and flower-stands, 
and the use of mosquito-fans. They are allowed to 
cut their nails according to the length of the flesh. 
They are allowed the use of razors, of a stone to 
sharpen the razors on, of powder prepared with 
sipatika-gum to prevent them rusting, of a sheath 
to hold them in, and of all the apparatus of a barber. 

Canonical Pali Literature 71 

They are not to have their beards cut by barbers, 
nor to let them grow long nor to wear them long 
on the chin like a goat's beard. They are allowed 
the use of an instrument to remove the wax from 
the ear. They are allowed the use of a loom and 
of shuttles, strings, tickets, and all the apparatus 
belonging to a loom. They are not to wear their 
under-garments arranged as laymen do, nor to 
wear upper-garments as the laymen do. Tooth- 
sticks four finger-breadths long at the least are 
allowed. They are allowed to eat onions when 
diseased. They are not to follow manifold evil 
practices. Abodes of five kinds are allowed for the 
bhikkhus, e.g. viharas, addhayogas, 1 storied dwell- 
ings, attics, and caves. Bedsteads made of laths 
of split bamboo are allowed. A rectangular chair, 
an arm-chair, a sofa, a sofa with arms to it, a state- 
chair, a cushioned chair, a chair raised on a pedestal, 
a chair with many legs, a board (to recline on), a 
cane-bottomed chair, a straw-bottomed chair are 
^ilso allowed. Supports to bedsteads are allowed to 
the bhikkhus. Pillows half the size of a man's 
head and bolsters of five kinds are allowed; use in 
the viharas of whitewash, black colouring, and red 
colouring is allowed. Curtains can be used. 
Chambers in shape like a palankeen, chambers in 
shape like a quart measure, chambers on an upper 
storey, pins in the wall and bone hooks are allowed; 
verandahs, covered terraces, inner verandahs, and 
overhanging eaves are allowed. A service hall, 
a water-room, and a watershed are allowed. The 
bhikkhus are enjoined upon that paying of 
reverence, rising up in reverence, salutation, proper 
respect, and apportionment of the best seat, and 
water and food, shall be according to seniority. 
But property belonging to the Samgha shall not 
be exclusively appropriated according to seniority. 
The bhikkhus are to sit down on seats arranged by 
laymen excepting three, namely, large cushions, 

1 Name of a sort of house which is said to be a house shaped 
like a garu^a bird. 

72 A History of Pali Literature 

divans, and mattresses but not to lie down upon 
them. The bhikkhus are allowed to appoint a 
bhikkhu possessed of five qualifications as an 
apportioner of lodging places. They are allowed the 
use of stuffed couches after having broken off the 
legs. There are rules authorising the fraternity 
to place a vihara in charge of an individual 
monk temporarily while it is under construction. 
The bhikkhus are allowed to barter either of these 
things in order to increase the stock of legally 
permissible furniture. They are allowed to appoint 
a bhikkhu as distributor of lodging places. 

There are regulations as to the duties of the 
bhikkhus towards one another. If the resident 
bhikkhu be senior, he ought to be saluted ; if junior 
he ought to be made to salute (the incomer). If a 
vihara be unoccupied, he ought to knock at the 
door, then to wait a minute, then to undo the bolt, 
and open the door and then still standing outside, 
to look within. If the vihara is covered with 
cobwebs, they should first be removed with a cloth.* 
If the cell or the storeroom or the refectory, or the 
room where the fire is kept, or the privy, is covered 
with dust, it should be swept out. If there is no 
drinking water, or water for washing, they should 
be provided. If there is no water in the rinsing- 
pot, water should be poured in. The bhikkhus are 
allowed to leave the hall, if necessary, after 
informing the bhikkhu sitting immediately next. 
The bhikkhus are allowed to recite the Patimokkha 
to the bhikkhus. They are allowed to tell 
bhikkhunis how to recite the Patimokkha. They 
must tell bhikkhunis how they should confess their 
faults. They are allowed to receive the confession 
of a fault from bhikkhunis. A bhikkhum is not to 

wear robes that are all of a blue, light yellow, 
crimson, black, brownish-yellow or dark yellow 

A bhikkhuni is not to assault a bhikkhu. 

The bhikkhus are to take seats according to 

Canonical Pali Literature 73 


The bhikkhus are allowed the use of a carriage 
which is given to a sick bhikkhuni. A bhikkhuni 
is not to adopt the forest life. The bhikkhus are 
allowed the use of a stable. A separate residence 
for bhikkhunis is allowed. The building operations 
are to be carried on for the benefit of the bhikkhunis. 
Certain places are assigned to live in to individual 
members of the Order. Bhikkhunls are not to 
bathe in a steam bath. A bhikkhuni is not to 
bathe at a place which is not a common bathing 
place. She is not to bathe at a bathing place 
used by men. She is not to bathe against the stream. 

Bhikkhunis and theris were exempted from all 
sorts of punishment for any offence committed 
before entering the Order. Once a Licchavi wife 
committed adultery. Her husband resolved to kill 
her, so she went to Savatthi and succeeded in 
getting herself ordained by a bhikkhuni. Her 
husband came to Savatthi, saw her ordained, and 
complained to King Pasenadi of Kosala. He also 
informed the King that his wife had become a 
bhikkhuni. The King said that as she had become 
a bhikkhuni, no punishment could be inflicted 
on her (Bhikkhumvibhanga, Samghadisesa, II, 
Vinaya Pitaka, Vol.' IV, p. 225). 

There were eight conditions on which a woman 
Conditions for could enter the Order. The condi- 

entering the Order. tions are as f olloWS : 

(1) A bhikkhuni even if she is of a hundred 
years standing shall pay respects to a new bhikkhu. 

(2) A bhikkhuni must not spend the lent in 
a district in which there is no bhikkhu. 

(3) Every half month a bhikkhuni must ask 
the bhikkhusamgha as to the date of the Uposatha 
ceremony, and the time when the bhikkhu will 
come to give the exhortation. 

(4) After the expiry of the lent, a bhikkhuni is 
to hold Pavarana (to enquire whether any fault 
can be laid to her charge) before both the bhikkhu 
and the bhikkhumsamghas in respect of what she 
has seen, heard, or thought of. 

74 A History of Pali Literature 

(5) A bhikkhuni is to undergo the manatta 
discipline towards both the SamghaSfif any serious 
offence is committed. 

(6) A bhikkhuni shall ask for upasampada* 
from both the Samghas after she has learnt six 
precepts for two years. 

(7) A bhikkhuni must not abuse or speak ill of 
any bhikkhu. 

(8) A bhikkhuni must not talk with a bhikkhu 
but a bhikkhu can give instructions to a bhikkhuni 
(Vinaya Pitaka, Vol. II, p. 255). 

The bhikkhumsamgha has several rules which 
the bhikkhunis are required to abide 

rules for the j The rules, as will be evident 

guidance of a bhik- *? ,1 i , j_ * 

. from their character, are very stnct. 

They are as follows : 

(1) A bhikkhuni must not collect more than one 
alms bowl in a vihara. 

(2) A thing asked for by a bhikkhuni from any 
upasaka or upasika cannot be taken in exchange 
for another thing. 

(3) The thing given to a bhikkhuni for a purpose 
must be used by her for that purpose only. 

(4) A bhikkhuni cannot ask for anything, the 
value of which is more than 16 kahapanas from any 
person although she is requested by the person 
to ask for something from him. 

(5) She must not take any white onion. 

(6) She must not accept paddy. 

(7) She should not throw impurities on the 
road through the window and also in the field. 

(8) She should not attend to dancing, singing, 
and instrumental music. 

(9) She should not talk with any person alone 
in the dark. 

(10) She should not sit and talk with any man 
in a covered place. 

(11) She should not do so even in moonlight by 
sitting on the meadow when there are no other 

(12) She should not talk with any man alone 

Canonical Pali Literature 75 

in the public street or cross roads where there are 

(13) She should not go away from the house 
where she gets her food daily without taking 
permission from the head of the house. 

(14) She should not sit or lie down in a house 
where she enters in the afternoon without taking 
permission from the head of the house. 

(15) She cannot curse anybody. 

(16) She cannot take her bath being naked. 

(17) Two bhikkhums cannot lie on the same 
bed and cannot cover their bodies with the same 

(18) If a bhikkhuni fall ill, the companion 
bhikkhum should nurse her or cause her to be 
nursed by others. 

(19) A bhikkhuni should not drive out or cause 
to be driven out another bhikkhum to whom she 
has given shelter. 

(20) She should not associate herself with a 
.householder or householder's son. 

(21) She should walk about with weapons 
within her own country in times of fear of robbers, 
dacoits, and other wicked persons. 

(22) During the lent she must not travel from 
place to place. 

(23) After lent she must not stay in the vihara. 

(24) A bhikkhum must not go to see a palace, 
royal-garden, picture-gallery, pleasure-garden, 
garden-tank having beautiful flowers, etc. 

(25) She must not enjoy a valuable couch or a 
beautiful bedstead. 

(26) She must not serve a householder. 

(27) She must not give food with her own 
hands to a householder, a paribbajaka or a pari- 

(28) She must not leave her dwelling place 
without placing it in charge of any other bhikkhuni. 

(29) She must not learn any art for her liveli- 

(30) She must not teach any art to anybody. 

76 A History of Pali Literature 

(31) She must not enter any hermitage where a 
bhikkhu dwells not having taken the necessary 

(32) She must not abuse a bhikkhu. 

(33) She must not take food beforehand when 
invited to take food in another's place. 

(34) She must not be attached to any particular 

(35) She must not spend the lent in a hermitage 
having no bhikkhu. 

(36) She must go to take instructions from a 

(37) She must not make any female her disciple 
who has not received her parents' consent to give 
up household life. 

(38) She must not go in a conveyance when 

(39) She must not put on ornaments and take 
her bath in perfumed water. 

(40) She must not take her seat in the presence 
of a bhikkhu without his permission. 

(41) She must not put any question without 
taking the bhikkhu' s permission. 

(42) She is prohibited from going out alone at 

(43) The bhikkhunis should learn the precepts 
common to the bhikkhus and bhikkhums, and the 
precepts specially meant for the bhikkhunis should 
be learnt by the bhikkhunis (Vinaya Pitaka, II, 
p. 258). 

(44) The bhikkhunis should not wilfully touch 
the bodies of laymen. They are also prohibited 
to touch the bodies of the bhikkhus with lustful 
thoughts (Vinaya Pitaka, IV, pp. 220-221). 

(45) In all assemblies where there is a samaneri 
or a bhikkhum, the Patimokkha should not be 
recited and also in the Pavarana ceremony (V.P., 
I, p. 167). 

The Vinaya Pitaka informs us that a robe once 
given to a bhikkhuni should not be taken back 
(Vol. IV, p. 247). 

Canonical Pali Literature 77 

The bhikkhunis should not be saluted by the 
bhikkhus (V|P., II, pp. 257-258). 

The bhikkhunis should not help a bhikkhuni 
who is excommunicated by the Samgha. 

A bhikkhuni who knowingly hides any parajika 
*r i *^* offence of any other bhikkhuni, 

Violation of Order. . * .-.. . ..., . * 

is also guilty 01 parajika. 

If a bhikkhuni follows a bhikkhu excom- 
municated by the bhikkhusamgha, she will be 
guilty of parajika. 

A bhikkhuni cannot bring any suit against 
any householder, or householder's son, slave, 
employee, even samana or paribbajaka. If she does 
so, she will be guilty of Samghadisesa offence. 

If a person with evil motive sends presents to 
any bhikkhuni and if she knowingly accepts them, 
the bhikkhuni will be guilty of Samghadisesa 

" If, Ananda, women had not received per- 
T> JJL , mission to go out from the household 

Buddha s predic- , . -, -, . .-, -. , . . 

thm on the effect of hie and enter the homeless state, 
the admittance of under the doctrine and discipline 

women into Order. -, . j i j i m j_i - ^.1^.1 

proclaimed by the Tathagata, then 
would the pure religion, Ananda, have lasted long, 
the good law would have stood fast for a thousand 
years. But since, Ananda, women have now received 
that permission, the pure religion, Ananda, will 
not now last long, the good law will now stand 
fast for only five hundred years. Just, Ananda, 
as houses in which there are many women and 
but few men are easily violated by robbers or 
burglars, just so, Ananda, under whatever doctrine 
and discipline women are allowed to go out from 
the household life into the homeless state, that 
religion will not last long. And just, Ananda, 
as when the disease called mildew falls upon a 
field of rice in fine condition, that field of rice does 

1 It means one who has trodden the right path. Vide Lord 
Chalmers, Tathagata, J.R.A.S., 1898, 391 foil. It is indeed.. an 
useful article. See also Prof. Walleser's learned article 
of the Tathagata published in the Journal, Taisho Tl 

78 A History of Pali Literature 

not continue long ; just so, Ananda, under what- 
soever doctrine and discipline womei^ are allowed 
to go forth from the household life into the home- 
less state, that religion will not last long. And 
just, Ananda, as when the disease called blight 
falls upon a field of sugar-cane in good condition, 
that field of sugar-cane does not continue long ; 
just so, Ananda, under whatsoever doctrine and 
discipline women are allowed to go forth from the 
household life into the homeless state, that religion 
does not last long. And just, Ananda, as a man 
would in anticipation build an embankment to a 
great reservoir, beyond which the water should 
not overpass ; just even so, Ananda, have I in 
anticipation laid down eight chief rules for the 
bhikkhunls, their life long not to be overpassed 
(Vinaya Texts, S.B.E., pt. Ill, pp. 325-326). 

Buddha's prediction was fulfilled when many 
troubles arose on account of the frequent meetings 
between the bhikkhus and the bhikkhunls, and the 
bhikkhunls and the lay people as we find in the- 
case of Thullananda and Dabba the Mallian, and 
also Abhirupananda and Salho, grandson of Migara, 
the banker of Savatthi (Vinaya Pitaka, IV, p. 211). 

(3) The Parivarapatha is a digest of the other 
parts of the Vinaya and consists of nineteen chapters. 
It appears to be of later origin, being probably the 
work of a Ceylonese monk. It is a manual of 
instruction in the Vinaya Pitaka. In some stanzas 
which are found at the end of the Parivarapatha, 
it is stated to have been composed by " the highly 
wise, learned, and skilful Dipa, after he had 
inquired here and there into the methods (literally 
the way) followed by former teachers." l " It is a 
very interesting bit of evidence, " says Rhys Davids, 
" on early methods of education." Readers are 
referred to the introduction to the Vinaya Texts 

i Pubbacariyamaggan ca pucchitva va tahim tahim Dipa 
nama mahapafifio sutadharo vicakkhano imam vittharasamkhepaxh 
sajjhamaggena majjhime cintayitva likhapesi sissakanam sukha- 
vaham (Vinaya Pitaka, Vol. V, p. 226). 

Canonical Pali Literature 79 

translated from the Pali by Rhys Davids and 
Oldenberg. The introduction is a learned review 
of the whole of the Vinaya Texts. 
> (4) The Patimokkha (vide ante in the section 
on the Suttavibhatiga). 

In the Colombo Museum the following manus- 
cripts are available : 

1. Parajika (Burmese and Sinhalese 


2. Pacittiya (Burmese and Sinhalese 


3. Mahavagga (Burmese and Sinhalese 


4. Cullavagga (Burmese and Sinhalese 


5. Parivarapatha (Burmese and Sinhalese 


Khuddakasikkha and Mulasikkha which are the 
mediaeval compendiums of the Vinaya have been 
edited by E. Muller in the J.P.T.S., 1883. They are 
mostly in verse, a few passages being given in 
prose. It is difficult to say anything about the 
date of these works. The language is more modern 
than that of the Mahavamsa. It deals with the 
four parajikas, monk's garments, pavarana festival, 
alms-bowl, pacitti, kamma, kayabandhana, requisites 
of a monk, instructions, uposatha ceremony, suddhi, 


As the Vinaya Pitaka is the best source of 
information relating to the ancient Buddhist Order 
and the monk-life, so also is the Sutta Pitaka or 
" the Basket of Discourses ", the main source for 
the Doctrine of the Buddha as expounded in 
argument and dialogues and also for that of his 
earliest disciples. The Sutta Pitaka contains prose 
dialogues, legends, pithy sayings, and verses. It 
contains, in prose and verse, the most important 

80 A History of Pali Literature 

products of Buddhist literature grouped in five 
collections named nikftyas. The first four of these 
consists of suttas or discourses which are either 
speeches of the Buddha or dialogues in prose 
occasionally diversified by verses. These four are 
cognate and homogeneous in character. A number 
of suttas reappear in two or more of them. There 
is little difference in the doctrines they contain. 
The same mode of discussion prevails in these 

The Sutta Pitaka is divided into five nikayas, 
1. Digha, 2. Majjhima, 3. Samyutta, 4. Anguttara, 
and 5. Khuddaka. 


The Digha Nikaya 1 or Dighagama or Digha 
Samgaha is the first book of the Sutta Pitaka and 
is a collection of long discourses. It is divided 
into three parts, (i) Silakkhandha, (ii) Mahavagga, 
and (iii) Patheya or Patikavagga. It contains 
thirty-four suttas, each of which deals fully with 
one or several points of Buddhist doctrine. The 
first of these suttas is called the Brahma jala Sutta 
which may be translated as the ' excellent net *. 
Prof. Rhys Davids explains it as the ' perfect net ' 
or the net whose meshes are so fine that no folly 

1 The P.T.S. editions, Vols. I and II by T. W. Rhys Davids 
and J. E. Carpenter and Vol. Ill by J. E. Carpenter ; Digha 
Nikaya published by W. A. Samarasekara, Colombo, 1904. 

The Chinese Dlrghagama Sutra is to be compared with the 
Pali text of the Digha Nikaya, collection of long suttas, 34 in 

The following six sutras included in the Dlrghagama Sutra 
[the sutra : on the four castes, on the Ekottara (-dharma), on the 
Trirasi (-dharma), on (the city) tho i (?), on the pureness 
of practice, and on the record of the world] seem not to be given 
in the Pali text, or at least with different titles. At the same 
time, the following ten suttas seem to be left out in the 
Dlrghagama Sutra : Mahali Suttanta, Jaliya Suttanta, Subha 
Sutta, Mahasudassana Sutta (this is, however, found in the Chinese 
Madhyamagama Sutra), Mahasatipatthana Sutta, Pafaka Sutta, 
Agganna Suttanta, Pasadika Sutta, Lakkhana Suttanta, and 
Afcanatiya Sutta (see Bunyiu Nanjio's Catalogue of the Chinese 
Translation of the Buddhist Tripi^aka, pp. 135-138). 

Canonical Pali Literature 81 

of superstition, however subtle, can slip through. 1 
Be it noted tljat in the Sutta itself the Buddha is 
represented as suggesting other alternative titles 
'such as atthajala, dhammajala, ditthijala, anuttara- 
samgamavijaya* The incidents to which this sutta 
owes its origin, are interesting from the standpoint 
of philosophy and may be narrated here. Suppiya 
was a disciple of Sanjaya, the paribbajaka. He 
followed the Buddha with his pupil, Brahmadatta* 
On the way Suppiya was speaking ill of the Buddha 
while his pupil, Brahmadatta, was praising him. 
The conversation held between Suppiya and his 
pupil gave rise to the occasion for the entire 

The Brahmajala Sutta 2 (Dlgha Nikaya, Vol. 
/, pp. 1-46) is very important in the history of 

Read ' fc The Relation of the Chinese Agamas to the Pali 
Nikayas" (correspondence, J.R.A.S., 1901) by Dr. Anesaki The 
materials of both are much the same but the arrangement is 
different. The author has cited the following comparisons, e.g. 
Kosalasamyutta, Marasamyutta, Bhikkhumsamyutta, Vangisa- 
sazhyutta. The Mahaparinibbana, which is the 16th suttanta 
in the Pali Dlgha, is the 2nd in the Chinese. The names men- 
tioned in the Chinese remind us of some of the scriptures 
mentioned in the Asokan inscriptions. Vide also <4 The Chinese 
Nikayas " by A. J. Edmonds, published in the Buddhist Manual 
of Ceylon, 1931. 

Read R. O. Franke, Die gathas des Dighanikaya neit ihren 
parallelen ; K. E. Neumann, Reden Gotamo Buddha's aus der 
langereri sammlung Dlgha Nikaya des Pali-Kanons iibers, Bd. I, 
II. Miinchen, 1907, 1912; Buddhist Suttas, S.B.E., XI. This 
work has been translated into English by T. W. and C. A. F. Rhys 
Davids under the title of the Dialogues of the Buddha (Sacred 
Books of the Buddhists). Vide Ch. Akanuma-Kanyaku agon 
to Palinikaya no taisho (comparison entre les Agamas chinois 
et les Nikayas pali). This book contains a comparative catalogue 
of Chinese Agamas and Pali Nikayas. It is no doubt a laborious 
production and should be often consulted. Vide my paper on 
44 A Study of the Dlgha Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka" published in 
the Young East, Volume IV, No. 4, September, 1928. 

1 Rhys Davids, Buddhism, its History and Literature 
(American Lectures on the history of religions). 

2 In Pali sutta and suttanta are the same (Suttam eva 
Ruttanto). It means a thread, string, a dialogue, a discourse, a rule, 
or an aphorism. Certain portions or chapters of the Buddhist 
scriptures are called suttas. They may be either in verse or in 
prose and vary in length. A sutta is complete in itself consisting of 


82 A History of Pali Literature 

Buddhism. It explains the sllas or moral precepts in 
three successive sections : Cula (th$ concise), maj- 
jhima (the medium length), and maha (elaborate). 1 
It further deals with the various types of current' 
philosophical views, e.g. Sassatavada 2 (eternalism 
of the world and the soul maintained on four 
grounds), Ekaccasassata and Ekaccasassatavada 
(semi-eternalism eternalism of something and non- 
eternalism of something maintained on four 
grounds), antananta (extentionism), amara-vikkhepa 
(eel- wrigglers), adhicca-samuppada (fortuitous ori- 
gination), uddhamaghatana (condition of soul after 
death), ucchedavada (annihilationism), and dittha- 
dhamma-nibbana-vada (the doctrine of happiness in 
the present life). 8 The sections dealing with the 
sllas throw much light on the various conditions of 
life, arts, handicrafts, sports, pastimes, different 
kinds of sacrifices, different occupations of the 
people, development of astronomy and astrology, 
arithmetic, accountancy, royal polity, medicine, 
surgery, architecture, palmistry (ah gam), divining 
by means of omens and signs (mmittam), fortune- 
telling from marks of the body (lakkhanam), 
counting on the figures (mudda), counting without 
using the figures (ganana), summing up large 
totals (sankhanam), sophistry (lokayata), practising 
as an occultist (salakiyaih), practising as a surgeon 
(sallakattikam), fixing a lucky day for marriage 
or giving in marriage (avahanam vivahanam), 
fixing a lucky time for the conclusion of treaties 

a connected narrative or a collection of verses on one subject. 
Some of them are didactic and consist mainly or wholly of a 
discourse of Buddha in prose or vorse. 

1 These terms have been explained by Rhys Davids as ( 1 ) short 
paragraphs on conduct, (2) the longer paragraphs on conduct, and 
<3) long paragraphs on conduct. Dialogues of the Buddha. 

2 Vide, my Historical Gleanings, p. 33. 

8 Among the Jains, there are similar schools of thought, e.g. 
Atmasasthavadins, Tajjivatacchariravadins, Nastikavadins, 6unya- 
vadins, Satavadins and Ajivikas, besides the Kiriyavadins, the 
Akriyavadins, the Ajn&navadins, and the Vinayavadins. Vide 
Dr. Baraa's Pre-Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, pp. 282 foil, 295, 
303, 306, 318 foil., 332 foil. 

Canonical Pali Literature 83 

and for the outbreak of hostilities (samvadanam 
vivadanam), sluguries drawn from thunderbolts and 
other celestial portents (uppadam), prognostication 
by interpreting dreams (supinam), sacrificing to 
Agni (aggi-homam), looking at the knuckles (anga- 
vijja), etc., and after muttering a charm to divine 
whether a man is well born or lucky or not, deter- 
mining a proposed site for a house which would 
be lucky or not ( vatthu- vijj a), advising on customary 
law (khatta vijja), laying ghosts (bhuta vijja), 
knowledge of the charm to be used when lodging 
in an earth house (bhuri vijja), foretelling the 
number of years that a man has yet to live 
(pakkhajjhanam), using charms to procure abortion 
(viruddha-gabbha karanam), incantations to bring 
on dumbness (jivha-nittaddanam), keeping a man's 
jaws fixed by charms (hanusamhananam), and 
fixing on lucky sites for dwellings and consecrating 
sites (vatthu kammam vatthu parikiranam). This 
sutta tells us of two classes of gods, the Khidda- 
padosika and the Manopadosika. Both these classes 
are of a rather low order. Thus the Buddha says 
that the Khiddapadosika gods spend their time in 
laughing, playing, and enjoying sensual pleasures. 
For this reason they lose control over their mind, 
as a result of which they fall down from their 
position and are reborn in the human world. Of 
the second class, the Buddha says that they think 
much of one another. In consequence of excessive 
thinking their mind becomes polluted and on 
account of pollution of their mind they fall down 
from that situation and are reborn in the human 

The world of radiance (abhassaraloka) described 
in this suttanta is one of the higher brahmalokas. 

This suttanta tells us that at the beginning 
of a new world system a being falls from the 
abhassaraloka on account of loss of life or merit 
and he is reborn in the brahmavimana which is 
then empty, and there he dwells with his mental 
body, living in joy, having a lustrous body and 

84 A History of Pali Literature 

moving in the sky. The Buddha relates later on 
in the same suttanta that this Go\f who is first 
reborn in the brahmavimana is the Great Brahma ; 
he considers himself superior to the other 

Rhys Davids rightly points out that this 
suttanta sets out in sixty-two divisions various 
speculations or theories in which theorisers, going 
out always from various forms of the ancient view 
of a ' soul ' a sort of subtle manikin inside the 
body but separate from it and continuing, after 
it leaves the body as a separate entity attempt to 
reconstruct the past or to arrange the future. 
All such speculation is condemned. It is certain 
from the details given in this suttanta that there 
were then current in Northern India many other 
philosophic and theosophic speculations besides 
those the priests found it expedient to adopt and 
have preserved for us in the Upanishads. (Dialogues 
of the Buddha, Sacred Books of the Buddhists, 
Introduction to the Brahmajala Sutta.) This sutta 
really deals with the most fundamental conceptions 
that lay at the root of the Buddha's doctrine, his 
Dharma, his ethical and philosophical views of 

The second is the Sdmannaphala Sutta (Digha, I> 
pp. 47-86) or ' Discourse on the reward of Buddhist 
mode of holy life '. This sutta discusses the following 
topics : joy and seclusion, freedom and safety, 
miracle, the divine ear, memory of one's own former 
births, knowledge of the other people's former 
births, etc. This suttanta says that Mahavira, 
the celebrated founder of Jainism, is said to have 
laid great stress on the four-fold self-restraints 
(catuyamasamvara). A short and malicious frag- 
ment in this sutta tells us that Gosala divides actions 
into act, word, and thought : thought being regarded 
as half karma. 

The Buddha was staying at Rajagaha in the 
mango grove of Jlvaka with many bhikkhus. On 
a full-moon night Ajatasattu of Magadha asked 

Canonical Pali Literature 85 

his ministers jas to which Sramana or Brahmana 

should be approached or worshipped to pacify the 
troubled mind. Followers of five heretical teachers 
who were present there advised the king to visit 
their preceptors but Jivaka advised him to see the 
Buddha. Ajatasatru (Ajatasattu) acted according 
to the advice of Jivaka. The Magadhan monarch 
was converted to the Buddhist faith and made 
considerable progress in his spiritual insight but on 
account of his great sin of killing his father he could 
not attain even the first stage of sanctification. So, 
like the Brahmajala, the Samanfiaphala Sutta creates 
a psychological situation in the garb of a historical 
narrative which is guilty of an anachronism in so 
far as it represents all of the six teachers as persons 
who could be interviewed by King Ajatasattu. 
It should be further noted that the literary art of 
this sutta was plagiarized later on in the Milinda 
Panha. Rhys Davids in his introduction to the 
Samanfiaphala Sutta 1 says that this suttanta puts 
forth Buddha's justification for the foundation of 
the Order, for the enunciation of the Vinaya, the 
practical rules of the canon law by which life in 
the Order is regulated. The list of ordinary 
occupations given in this suttanta is interesting 
evidence of social conditions in the Ganges valley 
at the time of the composition of the Digha Nikaya. 
The list is briefly as follows : elephant riders 
(hattharoha), cavalry (assaroha), charioteers 
(rathika), archers (dhanuggaha), slaves (dasaka 
putta), cooks (alarika), barbers (kappaka), bath- 
attendants (nahapaka), confectioners (suda), garland- 
makers (malakara), washermen (rajaka), weavers 
(pesa-kara), basket-makers (nalakara), and potters 
(kumbhakara). And the introductory story in which 
the king explains how he had put a similar question 
to the founders of six other orders and gives the 
six replies he received, is interesting evidence of 

1 T. W. Rhys Davids, Dialogues of the Buddha, S.B.B., 
Vol. II. 

86 A History of Pali Literature 

the views held by the authors of the Dialogue as 
to the beliefs current at the time! The answer 
which the Buddha is represented to have given to 
the question raised by the king takes the form of a 
counter-question. The king confesses that he would 
treat a person who has joined the Order as one 
worthy of honour and respect. The Buddha shows 
the advantages of the life of a recluse not necessarily 
of a follower of his own. And most of what he 
says would apply as much to his strongest opponents 
as to the members of his Order. This suttanta 
only purports to set forth the advantages the 
early Buddhists held to be the likely results of 
joining, from whatever motive, such an order 
as their own. This suttanta also states Gosala's 
main thesis rather narrowly when it says that fools 
and wise alike wandering in transmigration make 
an end of pain (sandhavitva samsaritva dukkhas- 
santam karissanti). 

The third is the Ambattha Sutta (Dlgha, 1, 
pp. 87-110) which deals mainly with the subject 
of caste. This sutta cannot, however, be safely 
utilized as a source for the study of castes in Ancient 
India. It appears from the manner of interrogation 
and rejoinder (between the Buddha and Ambattha, 
a brahmin youth) that the compilers of this sutta 
have made a fool of Ambattha. Ambattha is 

versed in the three Vedas and the Buddha is an 
4 Incomparable Religious Teacher '. But Ambattha's 
replies to the Buddha's questions and the Buddha's 
clenching the arguments are not at all convincing. 
This is for two reasons. Either the followers of the 
Buddha purposely made a fool of Ambattha so 
that the Master would shine by contrast or that 
some intervening portions in this sutta have been 
omitted carelessly. Moreover we do not know 
the other side of the question, that is to say, what 
the Brahmanas have got to say on the point. It is 
to be borne in mind, however, that the Brahmanical 
books give preference to the Brahmanas over the 
Ksatriyas and in the Buddhist and Jain records 

Canonical Pali Literature 87 

Khattiyas are given precedence over the Brahmanas. 
So the relat^e position of both is a point of 
controversy. There are also discussions on the 
pride of birth, asceticism, and luxury of brahmins. 
We learn from this sutta that a young brahmin 
named Ambattha who went to Kapilavastu on 
business had an opportunity of visiting the motehalls 
of the Sakyas where he saw the young and the 
old seated on grand seats. 

It is sufficiently evident, as Prof. Rhys Davids 
points out in his introduction to the Ambattha 
Sutta, 1 from the comparative frequency of the 
discussions on the matter of Brahman pretensions 
that the subject of caste was a burning question 
at the time of the composition of the nikayas. 
No other social problem is referred to so often ; 
and the Brahmanas would not be so often represented 
as expressing astonishment or indignation at the 
position taken up regarding it by the early Buddhists 
unless there had really been a serious difference 
pn the subject between the two schools. But the 
difference, though real, has been gravely misunder- 
stood. Rhys Davids further remarks that the 
disastrous effects from the ethical, social, and 
political points of view of these restrictions and 
of caste as a whole have been often grossly 
exaggerated and the benefits of the system ignored. 
We are entirely unwarranted in supposing the 
system, as it now exists, to have been in existence 
also at the time when Buddhism arose in the valley 
of the Ganges. Our knowledge of the actual 
facts of caste even as it now exists, is still confused 
and inaccurate. The theories put forward to explain 
the facts are loose and irreconcilable. There was 
a common phrase current among the people which 
divided all the world into four vanna (colours 
or complexions) Khattiya, Brahmana, Vessa, and 
Sudda. The priests put themselves first and had 
a theological legend in support of their contention. 

1 Dialogues of the Buddha, S.B.B., Vol. II. 

88 A History of PdU Literature 

But it is clear from the pitakas that this was not 
admitted by the nobles. And it is (Iso clear that 
no one of these divisions was a caste. There was 
neither connubium nor commensality between all 
the members of one vanna '"nor was there a governing 
council for each. The fourth was distinguished 
from the other by social position. And though in 
a general rough way the classification corresponded 
to the actual facts of life, there were insensible 
gradations within the four classes, and the boundary 
between them was both variable and undefined 
(cf. Vasettha Sutta of the Sutta Nipata, Madhura 
Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya dealing with the 
subject of caste. Dr. Fick has collected the evidence 
found in the Jataka book in his work, " Die Sociale 
Oliederung im Nordostlichen Indien zu Buddhas 
zeit "). The theory of caste or jati easily breaks 
down when we see that a Brahmin and a Candala 

do not differ in their physical constitution and 
can procreate children. In the Vasettha Sutta 
of the Sutta Nipata the Buddha opposes ths 
caste system on grounds drawn from biology. 
The theory of caste is untenable as it introduces 
species within species. Buddha gives a list of 
species of various animals, insects, and plants 
and holds that such a variety of species is not to 
be found among men (cf. Sutta Nipata, Verse 14). 

The fourth is the Sonadanda Sutta (Digha, I, 
pp. 111-126) which deals with the question of what 
constitutes the essential quality which makes a 
man a Brahmana. This sutta informs us that a 
brahmin is he who is well born on both sides, of 
pure descent, through the father and through the 
mother, back through seven generations, with no 
slur put upon him, and no reproach in respect 
of birth a repeater of the sacred words, knowing 
the mystic verses by heart, one who has mastered 
the three Vedas (tinnam vedanam paragu) with 
the indices (sa nighan-du-ketubhanam), the ritual, 
the phonology, and the exegesis, and with the 
legends as a fifth, one who is learned in the etymolo- 

Canonical Pali Literature 89 

gies of the words and in the grammar, versed in 
lokayata (nature-lore or sophistry), and in the 
theory of the signs on the body of a great man 
(mahapurisalakkhanesu anavayo). 

The man who knows, says Prof. Rhys Davids, 
wisdom and conduct (wisdom in the sense of that 
which is contrary of avijja or ignorance of the 
action of Karma, of the Four Noble Truths, and of 
the doctrine of the asavas or intoxications), who 
finally and permanently out of the jungle and in 
the open, quite beyond the stage of wasting his 
wonder on the fabulous soul, has attained to, 
and remains in this state of Nirvana in Arahatship, 
is not only in Buddhist terminology called a 
Brahmana but is, in fact, declared to be the only 
true brahmin. Rhys Davids is right in pointing 
out that the doctrine of brahmin supremacy was 
intellectually indefensible. It was really quite in- 
consistent with the ethical standard of the time, 
which the brahmins in common with the rest of the 
people fully acknowledged (see introduction to the 
Sonadanda Sutta in the Dialogues of the Buddha 
by Rhys Davids, S.B.B., Vol. II). As to the 
characteristics of a true brahmin we can refer to 
the Brahmanavagga of the Dhammapada, the 
Vasettha Sutta of the Sutta Nipata, the Brahmayu 
Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya, the Brahmana 
Samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, the Janussoni 
Sutta of the Anguttara Nikaya, the 99th sutta of 
the Itivuttaka, and so forth. " It is clear ", says 
Rhys Davids, " that the word ' Brahmin ' in the 
opinion of the early Buddhists conveyed to the 
minds of the people an exalted meaning, a connota- 
tion of real veneration and respect ". He further 
says that if the contention of the Buddhists had 
been universally accepted, that is to say, if the 
word ' brahmin ' had come to mean not only a 
man of certain descent, but exclusively a man 
of certain character and insight, then the present 
caste system of India could never have grown up. 
There is much grain of truth in what Rhys Davids 

90 A History of Pali Literature 

says that the caste system was gradually built up 
into a completely organized syste^i. The social 
supremacy of the brahmins by birth became accepted 
as an incontrovertible fact. And the inflood of the 
popular superstition which overwhelmed the 
Buddhist movement, overwhelmed also the whole 
pantheon of the Vedic gods. Buddhism and 
Brahmanism alike passed practically away and 
modern Hinduism arose on the ruins of both 
(Dialogues of the Buddha, S.B.B., Vol. II, p. 142). 
The fifth is the Kutadanta Sutta (LHgha 9 /, 
pp. 127-149) in which the Buddha in discussing 
right and wrong modes of sacrifices suggests a 
gradation of them according to the superior and 
inferior spiritual values. Kutadanta spoke to the 
brahmins about the qualities of the Buddha. He 
went to the Master, listened to his religious instruc- 
tions, and became a devoted lay supporter of the 
Buddha. It is interesting to note what Rhys 
Davids says on this suttanta. Whoever puts 
this sutta together must have been deeply imbuefl 
with the spirit of subtle irony that plays no lesser 
part in the suttas than it does in so many of the 
Jatakas. Rhys Davids attaches great importance 
to the right understanding of early Buddhist 
teaching, of a constant appreciation of this sort of 
subtle humour. He says it is a kind of fun quite 
unknown to the West. The humour is not at all 
intended to raise a laugh scarcely even a smile. 
In this suttanta the brahmin Kutadanta is very 
likely meant to be rather the hero of a tale than 
an historical character. Buddha was approached 
for advice about the modes of the ritual to be 
performed at the sacrifice and about the requisite 
utensils, the altar-furniture to be used in making 
it. The brahmin of this suttanta wants to know 
the three modes in which the ritual is to be performed. 
The three modes are declared in the legend to be 
simply three conditions of mind or rather one 
condition of mind at three different times, the 

Canonical Pali Literature 91 

harbouring oftno regret either before or during or 
after the sacrifice at the expenditure involved. It 
is the hearty co-operation with the king of four 
divisions of his people, the nobles, the officials, the 
brahmins, and the householders. That makes four 
articles of furniture. And eight personal qualifica- 
tions of the king himself. That makes other 
eight. And four personal qualifications of his 
advising brahmins make up the total of the sixteen 
articles required. No living thing, either animal 
or vegetable, is injured. All the labour is voluntary. 
And all the world co-operates in adding its share 
to the largesse of food, on strict vegetarian principles, 
in which, alone, the sacrifice consists. It is offered 
on behalf, not only of the king himself, but of all 
the good. In the opinion of Rhys Davids, this 
sutta is merely the oldest extant expression, in 
so thorough and uncompromising a way, of an 
ancient and widely held trend of opinion. On this 
occasion as on the question of caste or social privi- 
leges, the early Buddhists took up, and pushed 
to its logical conclusions, a rational view held 
also by others. For a detailed discussion of lokayata 
or casuistry, readers are referred to Rhys Davids' 
introduction to the Kutadanta Sutta (Dialogues of 
the Buddha, S.B.B., Vol. II, pp. 166 ff.). 

It is to be noted that the view involved in 
this suttanta is in some respects similar to the 
idea which we find in the Vedas and Upanishads,, 
especially the Chandogya. 

The sixth is the Mahdli Sutta (Digha, /, 
pp. 150-158) which deals with the means of the 
attainment of divine eye and ear. It contains 
discussions whether body and soul are same or 
different. While the Buddha appreciates the mode 
of thinking which leads one to endorse one or the 
other opinion, he on his own part does not follow 
this mode of thinking at all. This sutta further 
narrates that Mahali, a Licchavi, listened to the 
Buddha's discourse and rejoiced over it. Rhys 
Davids remarks in his introduction to the 

92 A History of Pali Literature 

Sutta that the form of this sutta As remarkable. 
We have two distinct subjects discussed. First, 
the question of the ability to see heavenly sights 
and hear heavenly sounds being raised, the Buddha 
says that it is not for the sake of acquiring such 
powers that people join the Order under him. 
And being asked what their object then is, he 
gradually leads the questioner on to saintship 
(arhatship) as the aim, along the Eightfold Path. 
There the sutta might appropriately have ended. 
But the Buddha himself then raises a totally 
different question, whether the soul and the body 
are the same. And though he gives no answer, 
he leads the discourse again up to Arhatship, 
along the series of mental states set out in the 
Samannaphala Sutta. This sutta contains only 
the silas in the second part. Rhys Davids gives 
us a list of eight different modes of speaking of or 
to a person: (1) a nickname arising out of some 
personal peculiarity, (2) a personal name this has 
got nothing to do with personal peculiarity, (3) the 
name of the gotra or a surname or family name, 
(4) name of the clan or the kulanama, (5) name of 
the mother, (6) name of the position in society or 
the occupation of the person addressed, (7) a mere 
general term of courtesy or respect, and (8) local 
name. It is interesting to note that the name 
of the father is never used in this way. 

The seventh is the Jdliya Sutta (Digha, /, 
pp. 159-160). This sutta like the preceding one 
contains a discussion on soul and body. Is the 
soul distinct from the body ? This is no doubt the 
most important problem involved in this sutta. 
Rhys Davids is right in pointing out that the 
Mahali Sutta must have already included the Jaliya 
episode. For there would otherwise be no reason 
for the Mahali Sutta being put into the Silakkhandha- 
vagga, the silas being contained only in that episode 
(S.B.B., Vol. II, Dialogues of the Buddha). 

The eighth is the Kassapasihandda Sutta (Dlgha, 
I, pp. 161-177) which contains Buddha's discussior 

Canonical Pali Literature 93 

with a nakedl ascetic regarding asceticism. The 
sutta alludes fo certain peculiar practices of the 
naked ascetics which characterised the life of the 
ajlvikas and a general account of them is also 
found in this sutta. The same account is incorporated 
in the Ahguttara Nikaya and other texts without 
any variation, which is a medley of laws and 
customs that obtained amongst the various religious 
orders of the time, most of which were weavers of 
garments. We are further informed that Kassapa 
went to the Buddha and exchanged friendly greetings 
with him. He afterwards became an Arahat. 
Regarding this suttanta, Rhys Davids remarks that 
there is both courtesy and dignity in the method 
employed. It is clear that at the time when this 
suttanta was put together, the practice of self- 
mortification had already been carried out to a 
considerable extent in India. No doubt in most 
cases the ascetics laid claim to special virtue. In 
the suttas dealing with the practices of ascetics, 
Qotama in laying stress on the more moderate view, 
takes occasion also to dispute this claim. He 
maintains in this suttanta that the insight and self- 
control and self-mastery of the path or of the 
system of intellectual and moral self-training laid 
down for the bhikkhu are really harder than the 
merely physical practices so much more evident 
to the eye of the vulgar. 

The episode of Nigrodha mentioned in section 
23 of this suttanta is described in full in the 
Udumbarika-Sihandda Sutta of the Digha Nikaya. 

The ninth is the Potthapada Sutta (Digha, I, 
pp. 178-203) which contains a discussion on the 
mastery of trance and incidentally deals with the 
question of soul. It further discusses about the 
infinity and eternalism of the world. When the 
Blessed One was at Jetavana in the arama of 
Anathapindika, a paribbajaka named Potthapada 
went to the arama of Mallika with a large retinue 
of paribbajakas. The Master came to him and 
Potthapada received him with due respect. 

94 A History of Pali Literature 

This sutta contains a list of topils discussed by 
the paribbajakas or wandering teafehers, which is 
of great historical importance as indicating the 
manner in which they gradually paved the way 
for a science of polity in India (vide my Historical 
Gleanings, pp. 13 foil.). 

Rhys Davids remarks that when the * soul ' 
was away the body lay still, without moving, 
apparently without life, in trance, or disease or 
sleep. When the ' soul ' came back, motion began 
again, and life. Endless were the corollaries of a 
theory which, however, devoid of the essential 
marks of a sound scientific hypothesis, underlies 
every variety of early speculation in India, as 
elsewhere. In this suttanta it is, in the first place, 
the gradual change of mental conditions, of states 
of consciousness : and then, secondly, the point 
that personality, individuality is only a convenient 
expression in common use in the world and therefore 
made use of also by the Tathagata but only in such 
a manner that he is not led astray by its ambiguity, 
and by its apparent implication of some permanent 
-entity (S.B.B., Vol. II, pp. 241 and 243). 

The tenth is the Subha Sutta (Digha, I, pp. 204- 
210) which is a short one and is almost identical 
with the Samannaphala Sutta differing from it 
only in dividing the states of mind under three 
heads of sila (conduct), samadhi (concentration), 
and panfia (wisdom). The chief reason for this 
suttanta being treated as a separate one is that 
samadhi includes the jhanas, 1 but also other and 
very different things. These are the habit of 
guarding the doors of one's senses ; constant 
mindfulness and self-possession and the faculty of 
being content with little. From the negative point 
of view it is said to include emancipation from 
ill-temper, inertness of mind and body, worry and 
perplexity ; from the positive point of view it is 

1 Mrs. Rhys Davids has ably discussed this topic in her 
.recently published work, 'Sakya or Buddhist Origins', pp. 171 foil. 

Canonical Pali Literature 95 

said to include! a constant state of joy and peace 
(S.B.B., II, 25). 

The eleventh is the Keva$$ha Sutta (Digha, I, 
*pp. 211-223) which deals with the practice of wonders 
or miracles, and traces the means whereby the 
manifestation of gods gradually becomes clear to 
a self-concentrated man. Some of the heavens 
are referred to in this sutta, e.g. Catummaharajika, 
Nimmanarati, Paranimmitavasavattl, and Brahma- 
loka. 1 

The twelfth is the Lohicca Sutta (Dlgha, I, 
pp. 224-234) which discusses some points on the 
ethics of teaching and enumerates three blame- 
worthy teachers and the blameless teachers. It 
also lays stress on the duty of spreading the truth. 
This sutta further informs us that everyone should 
be allowed to learn ; that everyone having certain 
abilities should be allowed to teach ; and that, if 
he does teach he should teach all and to all, keeping 
nothing back, shutting no one out. But no man 
should take upon himself to teach others unless 
and until he has first taught himself, and has also 
acquired the faculty of imparting to others the 
truth he has learnt. 

The thirteenth is the Tevijja Sutta 2 (Digha, /, 
pp. 235-253) in which the Buddha criticises the 
position of the Brahmanas who based their religious 
life on the system of the three Vedas. This sutta 
speaks of the ten representative sages who were 
authors of the Vedic mantras, viz. Atthaka, Vamaka, 
Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, 
Vasettha, Kassapa, Yamataggi, and Bhagu. The 
Buddha discusses the three vijjas of the Brahmanas 
and explains the three vijjas of his own. In this 
sutta the Tathagata 3 is highly praised. He is the 

1 Vide B. C. Law's Heaven and Hell in Buddhist Perspective, 
pp. 1-2. 

2 Translated into English by T. W. Rhys Davids in the 
S.B.E., Vol. XI. 

3 Mrs. Rhys Davids says that Tathagata was a worthy name 
for one who had worked to help men as other men had done 
before him. It is like the word Messias. She further points out 

96 A History of Pali Literature 

most exalted, the Excellent, the ^Charioteer of 
mankind, the Charioteer of gods, thfe Buddha, and 
the Blessed One. A bhikkhu becomes pious by 
giving up life-slaughter and is restrained in killing 
animals. 1 The law has been well explained by 
Gotama in various ways. Buddhaghosa adds that 
because Manasakata was a pleasant place, the 
brahmins built huts there on the bank of the river 
and fenced them in, and used to go and stay there 
from time to time to repeat their mantras (S.B.B., 
Vol. II, p. 300 f.n.). This sutta speaks of the 
union of men with Brahma, but there Brahma 
appears to stand more for Brahma of the Brahmanical 
system than Brahma, the creator-god. With this 
sutta ends the first volume of the Digha Nikdya. 

The fourteenth is the Mahdpaddna Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 1-54). The word * Apadana ' 
used in the title signifies legend or life-story of a 
Buddha. 2 It is also used as the title of the thirteenth 
book of the Khuddaka Nikaya of the Sutta Pitaka 
and it means the legend or life-story of an Arahat. 
In later books, Apadana is never used to mean 
the legend of a Buddha. The Mahapadana may 
mean the story of the Great Ones (Seven Buddhas). 
It is rendered into English by Rhys Davids as the 
sublime story. In laying down the general conditions 
of the advent of the Buddha, this suttanta introduces 
an account of the seven Buddhas by way of illustra- 
tions. But it is only the life of Vipassi, first of 
the seven previous Buddhas, which finds an elaborate 
treatment in it. It should be noted that the 
Cullaniddesa (p. 80) cites this suttanta as a typical 
instance of the earlier Jatakas. This sublime story 

"it was not a name of my duty. The name always comes up 
when men are honouring me for something I did not merit. It 
is the name given me by those ' Poranas ' (men of old) who were 
a hundred years and more after my time. They honoured the 
man they knew had once been leader ". (Gotama the man, p. 44.) 

1 bhikkhu panatipatam pahaya panatipata pafavirato hoti 
Tevijja Sutta, Digha, Vol. I, p. 250. 

2 See Dr. B. C. Law's 'A Study of the Mahavastu' (supple- 
ment), pp. 4-8 Jataka and Avadana or Apadana contrasted. 

Canonical Pali Literature 97 

in Pali may bt\ held in a way to be the historical 
basis of the Mahavastu, the Book of the Great 
Story. Further, it may be seen that this suttanta 
interprets the term Patimokkha not in the vigorous 
sense of a penal code of the monks but in a higher 
sense of ethical discipline attainable by the imitation 
of the lives of the Great Masters. 

It is interesting to note what Prof. Rhys 
Davids says regarding this sutta. " We find in this 
tract the root of that Birana weed which, growing 
up along with the rest of Buddhism, went on 
spreading so luxuriantly that it gradually covered 
up much that was of virtue in the earlier teaching, 
and finally led to the downfall, in its home in 
India, of the ancient faith. The doctrine of the 
Bodhisatta, of the Wisdom-Being, drove out the 
doctrine of the Aryan Path. A gorgeous hierarchy 
of mythological wonder-workers filled men's minds, 
and the older system of self-training and self- 
control became forgotten." He further points out 
that even at its first appearance here the weed 
is not attractive. The craving for edification is 
more manifest in it than the desire for truth 
(Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, S.B.B., Vol. Ill, 
p. 1). 

The fifteenth is the Makdniddna Suttanta 1 
(Digha, II, pp. 55-71) which explains fully the 
doctrine of paticcasamuppada (dependent origina- 
tion), and discusses soul, seven kinds of beings, and 
eight kinds of vimokkhas. 2 Besides, it treats of 
the cause of jati (birth), jara (old age), and marana 

1 Cf. Nidana Samyutta of the Samyutta Nikaya, pt. II, 
P.T.S. Ed. 

2 The eight vimokkhas or stages of emancipation are the 
following : the condition of rupa, arupa, saiiiii (rupi is nearly 
always combined and contrasted with arupi formless, incorporeal) 
recognition of subha, realisation of akasanancayatana (infinity 
of space), of vinnananaficayatana (infinitude of life-force or mind- 
matter), of aldncaiinayatana (realm or sphere of nothingness), 
of neva-sannanasaiifiayatana (neither perception nor non-percep- 
tion), of sannavedayitanirodha (cessation of consciousness and 


98 A History of Pali Literature 

(death). In this suttanta we also read that Ananda 
said to the Buddha, " It is strange tftat the Dharma 
which is deep and profound appears to me to be 
very easy." Buddha told Ananda not to say so' 
and said that on account of ignorance and non- 
realisation of his Dharma, people were entangled 
in this world and could not overcome hell. 

Prof. Rhys Davids is right in pointing out 
that the doctrine of paticcasamuppada or dependent 
origination finds in this suttanta the fullest exposi- 
tion accorded to it throughout the pitakas. The 
Dlghabhanakas (reciters of long discourse) excluded 
the first two of the twelve nidanas (chapters), viz., 
avijja (ignorance) and samkhara (confections) and 
that in the Paccayakara-vibhanga of the Abhi- 
dhammaPitaka the formula is reiterated and analysed 
with greater variety of presentation. But in this 
sutta the doctrinal contents are more fully worked 
out. Although the formula as expounded in this 
sutta ends in the usual way ' such is the uprising 
of the whole body of 111 ' the burden of the 
dialogue is in no way directly concerned with 111, 
pain or sorrow. In certain other passages where 
the nidana chain occurs, dukkha occupies the 
foreground (Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, p. 42, 
S.B.B., Vol. III). 

The sixteenth is the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta l 
{Digha, II, pp. 72-168) which is one of the most 
important suttas as it furnishes us with a highly 
interesting historical narrative of the peregrenation 

1 An English translation of this sutta by Childers has been 
published in J.R.A.S., 1876, New Series, Vols. 7 and 8. See also 
Tripitaka J. Takakusu et K. Watanabe Ed. Taisho en Vol. 55. 
Japonaise du Tripifcaka chinois en 100 volumes. M. Finot has 
contributed a paper on Mahaparinibbana Sutta and Cullavagga 
to the Indian Historical Quarterly (June, 1932) in which he has 
collected several data which entitle us to suppose that the account 
of the councils of Rajagaha and Vesali once formed the latter 
part of a larger historical work, which, at the time of the 
compilation of the Tripi^aka, was severed into two sections, the 
former being converted into the Mahaparinibbana Sutta and the 
latter annexed as Capitula extravagantia to the tenth Khandhaka 
of the Oullavagga. 

Canonical Pali Literature 99 

of the BuddhiJ during the last year of his mortal 
existence. The several sets of the conditions of 
welfare of a community taught by the Buddha to 
the mendicants bespeak the developed ideas of 
perfect organisations, in the history of social, 
political or religious thought at the time of Gautama 
Buddha. 1 The Pali passages, clothing as they 
do, the Buddha's teachings, contain reiteration of 
certain words ; but the symphony of these repetitions 
does not make them an unpleasant reading. In 
the third chapter of the Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, 
Buddha gives us a description of his visit to Vais&Ii. 
The figurative expressions as used by the Buddha, 
according to Rhys Davids, have become a fruitful 
soil for the outgrown of superstitions and misunder- 
standings. The train of early Buddhist speculation 
in this field has yet to be elucidated (Dialogues of 
the Buddha, pt. II, p. 115, f.n. 2). 

The sixth chapter of the Mahaparinibbana 
Suttanta records the most important of all events 
affecting the fate of Buddhism. In it we find the 
passing away of the Founder of the Faith. The 
wailings, described in Chapter V, of men and women 
of countries far and near on hearing that the Exalted 
One would pass away too soon, and the honour with 
which the relics of the Buddha were received and 
cairns made over them, as found in Chapter VI, 
go to show how deeply were the people moved by 
the preachings and personality of the Buddha. 
The last word of the Tathagata, viz. " pecay 
is inherent in all component things : Work out your 
salvation with diligence " (vayadhamma sam- 
khara, appamadena sampadethati, Digha Mkaya, 
P.T.S., Vol. II, p. 156), strikes the key-note of the 
Buddha's philosophy and mission. 

This suttanta further deals with Vassakara 
Brahmana's visit to the Buddha, seven conditions 
of welfare of the Bhikkhusamgha, lineage of faith, 
eight causes of earthquake, eight causes of subduing 

i Digha Nikaya, Vol. II, pp. 73-81. 

100 A History of Pali Literature 

others, Buddha's visit to Cunda, wmr places of 
pilgrimage of any faithful householder, efficiency of 
erecting dhatucaityas, former greatness of Kusmara, 
visit of Subhadra to Buddha and his conversation 
with the Lord, passing away of the Lord, homage 
of the Mallas, cremation of the Buddha's dead body, 
quarrel over the relics, the amicable distribution 
of relics by Dona and erecting the stupas over them. 
It further narrates the fact that when the Blessed 
One heard that Ajatasattu of Magadha determined 
to approach the Vajjians, he remarked that so long 
as the Vajjians fulfilled the seven conditions of 
welfare, there would not be any danger for them. 
The Buddha then went to Ambalatthika. Here 

there were talks about sila, samadhi, etc. The 
Master then went to Nalanda where he stayed as 
long as he liked. Sariputta met him here. 

The upasakas (lay disciples) of Pataligama 
received the Buddha cordially. The Buddha men- 
tioned the five disadvantages for not observing the 
precepts by householders and also five advantages 
for observing precepts by householders. The Blessed 
One accepted the invitation of two ministers of 
Magadha, Sumdha and Vassakara, who fed him 
together with the assembly of monks. He then 
went to Kotigama and addressed the monks on the 
four Noble Truths. Further he proceeded to Nadika 
where he dwelt at the Ginjaka abode. He then 
came to Vesali where he accepted the invitation 
of the famous courtesan, Ambapali. While the 
Buddha was passing through Vesali on his way 
back from the alms-seeking, he gazed at Vesali 
with an elephant look and then addressed the 
venerable Ananda and said, "This will be the 
last time that the Tathagata will behold Vesali". 
Buddha then visited Veluva and the following 
Caityas, Udena, Gotama, Sattambaka, Bahuputtaka, 
Sarandada, and Capala. At Bhandagama the 
Buddha delivered a discourse on meditation, 
emancipation, precepts, wisdom, etc. He spoke of 
Dhamma and Vinaya. The Master dwelt at Bhoga- 

Canonical Pali Literature 101 

nagara and tl^n at Pava. Here at Pava the Master 
took shelter in the mango-grove of Cunda, the 
son of a blacksmith. Buddha accepted the invita- 
tion of Cunda and after having taken food at Cunda's 
place, he got an attack of dysentery. He then 
went to Kusinara, a township of the Mallas where 
the Buddha passed away between the twin sala 
trees. As narrated before, as soon as the Mallas 
heard of the news of the death of the Tathagata, 
they, both males and females, began to cry and 
paid homage to the departed. Kassapa saluted 
the feet of the Buddha whose relics were distributed 
amongst the Moriyas of Pipphalivana, Ajatasattu 
of Magadha, Licchavis of Vaisall, Sakyas of Kapila- 
vastu, Bulis of Allakappa, Koliyas of Ramagama, 
a brahmin of Vethadipa, 1 Mallas of Pava and 
Kusinara who built stupas over them. 

In this suttanta we are introduced to a 
renowned religious teacher named Alada Kalama 2 
who had as his disciple a caravan merchant named 
Pukkusa, a young Mallian. Pukkusa used to speak 
highly of the spiritual attainments of his preceptor 
whose ecstatic trance, as declared by Pukkusa, 
was so very deep and profound that a long train 
of heavily laden carts passed by unperceived by 
him. The sutta also records that the inhabitants 
of Ramagama belonged to the serpent race. It 
further informs us that the Buddha mentions that 
the gods had their parisa or assemblies which are as 

1 In Beal's Si-Yu-Ki, Ve^hadipa has been stated to be situated 
on the way from Masar in the Shahabad district to Vai6ali. It 
may be assumed that Allakappa belonging to the Bulis lay not 
very far from Vethadipa. 

2 Mrs. Rhys Davids in her learned and interesting work on 
Gotama the man ably points out that the Buddha esteemed the man 
but not his method. The Buddha admits that Alara disappointed 
him (p. 26). She further says, *'He is by some to-day in 
accordance with certain records reckoned to have been of the 
Sankhyan school. He knew of its teachings but he did not teach 
them. He was a devotee of the very opposite practice to the 
clear, systematic thinking taught in that school the practice of 
rapt musing called in the books, jhana" (Gotama the man, 
p. 25). 

102 A History of Pali Literature 

follows : assembly of the Catummalarajika gods, 
the assembly of the Tavatimsa gods,' the assembly 
of Mara, and the assembly of Brahma. 

The seventeenth is the Mdhdsudassana Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 169-199). There is a Jataka known 
as Mahasudassana Jataka (No. 95) in FausbolPs 
edition of the Jatakas, but it differs from the 
suttanta in some important particulars. The 
Sudassana story in a suttanta form finds mention 
in the Cullaniddesa (p. 80) as a typical example of 
the Jatakas then known to the Buddhists. " The 
suttanta commences with a long description of the 
riches and glory of Mahasudassana and reveals 
in its details", says Rhys Davids, "the instructive 
fact that the legend is nothing more or less than a 
spiritualised sun-myth " (Dialogues of the Buddha, 
pt. II, p. 196). The Mahasudassana Suttanta 
" seems to afford a useful example both of the 
extent to which the theory may be accepted, and 
of the limitations under which it should always 
be applied. It must at once be admitted that 
whether the whole story is based on sun-story, or 
whether certain parts or details of it are derived 
from things first spoken about the sun or not, 
it is still essentially Buddhistic " (Dialogues of 
the Buddha, pt. II, p. 197). The Mahasudassana 
Suttanta is like a fairy tale which describes the 
greatest glory and majesty of the greatest king, 
the royal city and its palace of Righteousness. 
It describes the extent of his kingdom and his 
enjoyment. The object of this suttanta is perhaps 
to show that all is vanity except righteousness. 
This sutta also teaches us that everything is 
impermanent, that which has come into being 
must pass away. To attain this object the author 
had recourse to rhetorical phrases and other figura- 
tive expressions, the use whereof was not peculiar 
to Buddhist literature. M. Senart in his valuable 
work, " La Legende du Bouddha ", has traced the 
rhetorical phrases used in the description of the 
seven treasures mentioned in this suttanta to their 

Canonical Pali Literature 103 

earliest appearance in the Vedic hymns. But this 
does not exhaust the interesting bearing of Buddhist 
literature on the history of philosophy so far as 
Buddhist forms of speech are concerned. 

The eloquent description in the Mahasudassana 
Suttanta of the magnificence and lost glory of the 
ancient city Kusavati, the capital of King Sudassana, 
was a literary development in Pali in the edification 
of the Buddha's explanations offered in the 
Mahaparinibbana Suttanta, for his choosing as the 
place for his passing away in a daub town like 
Kusinara of his day. 

The eighteenth is the Janavasabha Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 200-219) in which important topics, 
such as rebirths of the faithful upasakas of Gautama, 
effect of name, great kings of four quarters, joy 
of the gods, the four ways of iddhi (miracle), the 
three ways of bliss, and the seven requisites of 
samadhi or concentration, have been mentioned. 
Prof. Rhys Davids says that after the prologue 
the story turns into a fairy tale, quite well told 
and very edifying and full of subtle humour. This 
sutta further refers to the Tavatimsa gods, the 
gods of Paranimmita Vasavatti, Nimmanarati, 
Yama, Catummaharajika heavens, and the assembly 
of King Vessavana Kuvera. This suttanta further 
informs us that 24,00,000 upasakas of Magadha 
obtained Sotapattiphalam (fruition of the first 
stage of sanctification) by following Buddha's 

The nineteenth is the Mahd-Govinda Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 220-252) which is of great importance 
from the standpoint of ancient Indian history and 
geography. For a Buddhist conception of the 
shape of India, we have to turn to this suttanta 
which states that India is broad on the north 
whereas in the south it is sakatamukham, i.e. has 
the form of the front portion of a cart and is divided 
into seven equal parts. The description of the 
shape as given in this suttanta agrees wonderfully 
with that given by the Chinese author, Fah-kai-lih-to. 

104 A History of Pali Literature 

It is really very important in the rfistory of Pali 
literature. It is no less important as one of the 
earliest examples cited in the Cullaniddesa (p. 80) 
of the Jatakas that in a way served as a model 
for the birth stories in the later commentaries. 
It introduces us to the Sudhamma or Mote Hall 
of the gods of Tavatimsa Heaven, where all the 
gods with Sakka, king of gods, as President, are 
found to have assembled and rejoiced at the increase 
in their numbers " through the appearance in 
their midst, of new gods produced by the good 
karma of the followers of the new view of life put 
forward by Gotama ". Sakka (lord of the gods) 
uttered eight paragraphs in eulogy of the Buddha. 
Next we find Maha-Brahma's views of an ideal 
brahmin. The facts of the Maha-Govinda Suttanta 
are found in different phraseology and order in the 
Mahavastu 1 (Govindiya Sutra). In the absence of 
sufficient materials it is still a difficult task for 
historians to ascertain with exactitude the relation 
between the Dlgha Nikaya and the Mahavastu. 8 
The possible explanation of the most astounding 
fact yet known about the Mahavastu is given by 
Rhys Davids in his Dialogues of the Buddha wherein 
it is stated, " Now we do not know exactly when 
and where Buddhists began to write in Sanskrit, 
though it was probably in Kashmir some time 
before the beginning of our era. They did not then 
translate into Sanskrit any Pali book. They wrote 
new books. And the reason for this was two-fold. 
In the first place, they had already come to believe 
things very different from those contained in the 
canon ; they were no longer in full sympathy with 
it. In the second place, though Pah* was never 
the vernacular of Kashmir, it was widely known 
there and even very probably still used for literary 
work ; translations were therefore not required " 
(pt. II, p. 256). 

1 Vide B. C. Law's " A Study of the Mahavastu" pp. 145-149, 
or Senart's Ed. of the Mahavastu, Vol. Ill, p. 197. 

2 See 'Buddhistic Studies' edited by Dr. B. C. Law, p. 837. 

Canonical Pali Literature 105 



The Maha-Govinda Suttanta also deals with 
Nirvana, the path leading to it, practice of piety, 
danger of delay, the lower and higher ways. It 
also gives us an account of Maha-Govinda's renounc- 
ing the world with a large number of followers and 
his seven wives. 

The twentieth is the Mahd-Samaya Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 253-262) which is of special importance 
to the historians of religion in so far as it bears 
testimony to the continual change in animistic 
belief prevalent in India at the time. In this 
connection Rhys Davids says, " The poem is almost 
unreadable now. The long list of strange names 
awakes no interest. And it is somewhat pathetic 
to notice the hopeless struggle of the author to 
enliven his unmanageable material with a little 
poetry. It remains save here and there, only 
doggrel still. There are three parts to the poem. 
The first is the list of gods, the second, the frame- 
work, put into the Buddha's mouth, at the beginning 
(after the prologues) and at the end, the third the 
prologue, with the verses of the four gods of the 
Pure Abode. The prologue has been preserved as 
a separate episode in the Samyutta, I, 27. The 
way in which the list is fitted into the framework 
in our sections 4, 5, and 6 is very confused, and 
awkward ; and the grammar of the framework 
is inconsistent with the grammar of the list. It 
is highly probable therefore that the list itself 
and also the epilogue, had been handed down as 
independent works in the community before our 
suttanta was composed. The framework may be 
the work of the editor. The legends here told 
were intended to counteract the animistic delusions 
about them (names contained in the suttantas) 
then so prevalent in the Ganges valley. They are 
almost the only evidence we have as yet outside the 
priestly books" (Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. II, 
pp. 282-283). This sutta mentions some gods who 
are found in this earth and also in the regions above. 
It gives us a long list of gods and we get a similar 

106 A History of Pali Literature 


list with the addition of Siva in the Mahavastu 
(Senart, Vol. I, p. 245, Vol. Ill, pp. 68, 77). 

The twenty-first is the Sakkapanha Suttanta 
(Digha, II, pp. 263-289) which is, in some respects, 
the most interesting of all mythological dialogues. 
It is quoted by name at Samyutta, III, 13 ; 
Mahavastu, I, 350 ; Milinda, 350 ; Sumangala- 
vilasini, I, 24 (where it is called vedalla). The last 
passage is repeated in the Gandhavamsa, 57. 

Sakka, king of the Thirty-three, finding it 
difficult to approach the Buddha who was then in 
deep meditation, sought the aid of a Gandhabba 
named Pancasikha who by the sweet play of his 
lyre sang in praise of the Awakened One, the Truth, 
the Arahant, and the love. The verses sung by the 
Gandhabba were addressed to a lady by one who 
received no return for his love for her as she was 
then in love with another. The song put into the 
mouth of the heavenly musician is clothed in words 
conveying a double meaning, one applicable to the 
Buddha and the other to the lady. The Buddha 
being moved by the music conversed with the 
Gandhabba who in the course of conversation 
informed Buddha of the advent of Sakka. Then 
Sakka came forward and paid homage to the 
Exalted One. He put to the Buddha several ques- 
tions mostly dealing with ethics and psychology. 
Buddha answered the questions to the great 
satisfaction of Sakka who was thereafter converted 
to the Buddhist faith. The conversion of the 
king of the Thirty-three appears, at first sight, to 
be preposterous, but the analysis of the meaning 
in which the word ' Sakka ' is used, leads us to 
hold that the king of gods is not free from the three 
deadly evils, lust, ill-will, and stupidity (cf. A.N., 
I, 144 ; S.N., I, 219), nor from anxiety (S.N. I, 219). 
He is still subject to death and rebirth (A.N., I, 144 ; 
cf. A.N., IV, 105), and as such, he desires to be 
reborn in some higher planes r of celestial beings. 

1 There are twenty-six planes of celestial beings. 

Canonical Pali Literature 107 

Some other topics are discussed in the 
suttanta : 

(1) causes of malice and avarice, 

(2) causes of favour or disfavour, 

(3) path leading to papanca (any of the evil 
conditions), sanfia (consciousness), and samkhara- 
nirodha (cessation of confections), and 

(4) how a bhikkhu can be said to follow the 
rules of the Patimokkha. 

The Sakkapanha Suttanta refers to the Buddha 
dwelling in the Magadhan kingdom, and to a Sakya 
princess named Gopika. She was pleased with the 
Buddha, Dhamma, and Samgha. She used to 
observe precepts fully, became disgusted with woman 
life, and meditated to become a man. 

The twenty-second is the Mahd-Satipatthdna 
Sutta (Dlgha, II, pp. 290-315). In it the Buddha 
urges his disciples to set up mindfulness (sati). 
The doctrine expounded in this suttanta may be 
said to be very important in early Buddhism. 
The Aryan Path is obtained by practising mindful- 
ness only. Rhys Davids says, " Sati does not 
occur in any ethical sense in pre-Buddhistic litera- 
ture, it is possible that the Buddhist conception 
was, in one way, influenced by previous thought. 
Stress is laid on the Upanishad ideal on intuition, 
especially as regards the relation between the soul, 
supposed to exist inside each human body, and the 
Great Soul. In the Buddhist protest against this, 
the doctrine of Sati, dependent not on intuition 
but on grasp of actual fact, plays an important 
part. This opposition may have been intentional. 
On the other hand, the ethical value of Mindfulness 
(in its technical sense) would be sufficient, without 
any such intention, to explain the great stress 
laid upon it " (Dialogues of the Buddha, II, 
323). In brief, the four kinds of meditation on 
impurities and impermanency of body and 
impermanency of vedana (sensation), citta (thought),, 
and dhamma (condition) are enumerated. 

108 A History of Pali Literature 


This suttanta speaks of the five hindrances, 
seven parts of wisdom, four truths, five khandhas 
or aggregates, and the various stages of inhalations 
and exhalations. This suttanta breaks up in the* 
Majjhima Nikaya into two portions each representing 
a, separate discourse such as satipatthana (chapter on 
sati or recollection) and saccavibhanga (exposition 
of truth). 

The twenty-third is the Pdydsi Suttanta (Digha, 
II , pp. 316-358). Payasi was a chieftain of Setavya, 
a city of the Kosalans. He entertained doubt as 
to the existence of another world, of beings reborn 
otherwise than from parents, and of results of good 
or bad deeds. Touching these questions, Payasi 
had a long discussion with Kumara Kassapa while 
the latter was staying at Setavya with a large 
retinue of bhikkhus. Kumara Kassapa had recourse 
to similies and advanced childish arguments to 
establish his doubt depending on analogy, the 
most dangerous of all snares, put forward counter- 
arguments to prove the futility of Payasi's arguments 
and at length succeeded in dispelling his doubt 
altogether. Payasi became Kassapa's disciple. The 
second part of the dialogue which is a sequel to the 
first is similarly a dialogue between Payasi and his 
disciple, Uttara, in which the latter succeeds in 
persuading the former to set up gifts in faith. 
The dialogue closes with a reference to the heaven 
where the teacher and the pupil were reborn after 
death. The third part which is a sequel to the 
second is also a dialogue between the Venerable 
Oavampati and the god Payasi in the lonely Serissaka 
Mansion. " The story of Payasi' s conversion and 
pious gifts with their heavenly reward, seems to 
have been invented in order just to allay the fear 
caused in theological circles by atheistical pro- 
paganda of the powerful chieftain and philosopher, 
Payasi " (Heaven and Hell in Buddhist Perspective, 
Appendix, p. XVI). It is interesting to note 
that Payasi who thought on the line of Ajita 
Kesakambali stated his predecessor's thesis in 

Canonical Pali Literature 

clear and unequivocal terms. In the language 
of the Sthananga such a doctrine is aptly designated 
"na santi poralokavada ". Mahavira and Buddha 
were right to suppose Ajita's doctrine of non-action 
because Ajita destroyed the ultimate ground of 
moral distinctions by denying the possibility 
of personal continuity and thus deprived life of its 
zest. The Payasi Suttanta deals with moon god and 
sun god, message from the dead, escape of the soul^ 
search for the soul, and right and wrong sacrifices. 

This suttanta has a Jaina counterpart in the 
Raya Paseni which is but a somewhat later and 
magnified legend of the chieftain Payasi. Com- 
paring the two versions of the legend it appears 
that Kumara Kassapa of the Buddhist tradition 
was the same personality as Kesi, the Jaina and 
that Paesi (Pradeshi), and not Payasi, was the 
designation of the chieftain. With this suttanta 
closes the second volume of the Dlgha Nikdya. 

The twenty-fourth is the Pdtika Suttanta 1 
(Dlgha, III, pp. 1-35). This sutta testifies to the 
fact that Nigantha Nathaputta predeceased Buddha 
by a few years. Prof. Rhys Davids gives a fair 
and uncontroverted comment on the style and 
contents of this suttanta. In his introduction to 
this suttanta, he writes that it is concerned really 
with only two topics, firstly that of mystic wonders 
and secondly that of the origin of things. The 
former has been dealt with much better and more 
fully in the Kevaddha Suttanta, the latter, here 
treated quite curtly and by way of appendix only, 
is fully discussed below in the Aggafina Suttanta 
(Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. Ill, S.B.B., Vol. IV, 
p. 2). 

The treatment here is clumsy. It is no doubt 
intended to be both humorous and edifying. But 
the humour is far removed from the delicate irony 
of the Kevaddha and the Agganna. The fun is of 
the pantomime variety, loud, and rather stupid. 

1 Vide F. Weller Ueber deu Aufbaudes Patikasuttanta 
II Uebersetzang des chinesischen Texts. 

110 A History of Pali Literature 


It is funny perhaps to hear how corpse gets slapped 
on the back, wakes up just long enough to let the 
cat out of the bag, and then falls back dead again ; 
or how an incompetent medicineman gets stuck 
fast to his seat, and wriggles about in his vain 
endeavours to rise. But this sort of fun would 
appeal more strongly to a music-hall audience, or to 
school boys out for a holiday, than to those who 
are likely to read it in this volume. And the 
supposed edification is of the same order. As an 
argumentum ad hominem, as propounded for the 
enlightenment of the very foolish Sunakkhatta 
(and this just, after all, what it purports to be), 
it may pass muster. Whether it can have appealed 
to (or was even meant to appeal to) wiser folk is 
very questionable. One gets rather bored with 
the unwearied patience with which the Tathagata 
is here represented as suffering fools gladly. And 
it is difficult to bear with an author who tells stories 
so foolish merely to prove that the Tathagata is 
as good a magician as the best, and who has the 
bad taste to put them into the mouth of the 
Tathagata himself. Not only in style and taste 
does this suttanta differ from the others. In 
doctrine also it is opposed to them (Dialogues of 
the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 1). The subject-matter 
is that Sunakkhatta, a Licchavi, was at first a 
pupil of the Buddha. Thereafter he left Buddha's 
Order and misinterpreted the doctrine of the Buddha. 
The Master refuted his arguments and himself 
explained his own doctrine. 

The twenty-fifth is the Udumbarika-Sihandda 
Suttanta (Digha, III, pp. 36-57) which deals with 
different kinds of asceticism. The Buddha explains 
the evil effect of them. He explains the life of a 
real brahmacari. 

The twenty-sixth is the Cakkavatti-Sihandda 
Suttanta (Digha, III, pp. 58-79) which describes 
that the Buddha instructed his disciples to practise 
four satipatthanas, and it deals with the life of 
Dalhanemi, a universal monarch. It is rather 

Canonical Pali Literature 111 

like a fairy tale, the moral whereof is the use and 
influence of the Norm. The moral has been pro- 
claimed in a thorough-going and uncompromising 
^manner, but not in so argumentative a way as is 
found in modern treatises on ethics or philosophy. 
The authors have stated their views merely leaving 
the gospel to be accepted or rejected by the hearers. 
" The Buddha is represented in this suttanta as 
setting out his own idea of conquest (not without 
ironical reference to the current ideas) and then as 
inculcating the observance of the Dhamma the 
Norm as the most important force for the material 
and moral progress of mankind " (Dialogues of 
the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 53). 

The Cakkavatti-Sihandda Suttanta teaches us 
that corruption leads to the decline of life. It 
further points out that if morals improve, life 
lengthens. The suttanta closes by saying much 
about the condition of prosperity. It states that 
the Buddha predicted that when the lease of life 
of human beings would be 80,000 years, Baranasi 
would be known as Ketumati which would be 
the capital of Jambudipa and the king would be 
Sankha who would be the universal monarch 
possessing seven gems. 

The twenty-seventh is the Agganna Suttanta 
(Digha, III, pp. 80-98). In dealing with the claims 
of the Brahmana, this suttanta establishes that 
good conduct is higher than caste. The evolution 
of the world, man, and society has been treated 
of herein 1 but the treatment does not appear to 
be satisfactory in the face of the scientifically 
developed modern ideas on the subject. This 
suttanta also deals with the origin of the four 
castes, Ksatriyas, Brahmanas, Vaisyas, and Sudras, 
and concludes by preaching that righteousness is 
above lineage. 

The Agganna Suttanta mentions that the 
Blessed One was at Pubbarama in the palace of 

1 Cf. Mahavastu (Senart's Ed.), Vol. I, p. 338 and B. C. Law's 
Study of the Mahavastu (supplement), pp. 37-39. 

112 A History of Pali Literature 

Migaramata and that King Pasenadi of Kosala 
was aware of the Blessed One's renouncing the 
world from the Sakya family. Though Pasenadi 
was of the same age as Buddha, yet he used to 
show respect to the Buddha out of consideration 
for his eminence as a great teacher. 

The twenty-eighth is the Sampasddanlya 
Suttanta (Digha, III, pp. 99-116) which speaks of 
the excellence of the Buddha in a manner both 
edifying and comprehensive. It mentions that the 
Blessed One was at Pavarika's mango-grove where 
Sariputta went and saluted the Buddha. 

The twenty-ninth is the Pdsddika Suttanta 
(Digha, III, pp. 117-141). The notable feature 
that is of some importance to a student of religion, 
is the condition of a perfect religion. Interesting 
reading is the mention of the characteristics of the 
Tathagata. The treatment of wrong views about 
the past and the future appears to be common 
place and has no special importance from a literary 
point of view. 

We learn from this suttanta that it was Cunda, 
the novice of JPava, who conveyed the news of the 
discussion to Ananda, which led to the breaking up 
of the Jaina Order and the latter at once saw the 
importance of the events and communicated the 
same to the Buddha who delivered a long discourse. 

The thirtieth is the Lakkhana Suttanta (Digha, 
///, pp. 142-179) which mentions in detail thirty- 
two signs, the possessor whereof is marked as a 
great man or superman as termed by Rhys Davids 
in bis Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. Ill, p. 134. 

This suttanta contains in a framework of 
prose a series of didactic stanzas, elegant in com- 
position and restrained in tone. The enumeration 
of some of the moral principles bears a close 
resemblance to that in Asoka's dhamma, " sacce 
ca dhamme ca dame ca samyame soceyya silalay- 
uposathesu ca, Dane ahimsaya asahase rato dalham 
samadaya samattam acari " (Digha, III, p. 147). 
Prof. Rhys Davids aptly says that this suttanta 

Canonical Pali Literature 113 


seems gravely ironical in the contrast it makes 
between the absurdity of the marks and the beauty 
of the ethical qualities they are supposed in the 
uttanta to mean. It mentions the fact that the 
Blessed One dwelt at SavatthI in the Jetavana-arama 
of Anathapindika. 

The thirty-first is the Singalovdda Suttanta 
(Dlgha, III, pp. 180-193) which deals with the duties 
of a householder. It has been translated into English 
by Grimbolt in Sept Suttas Palis (Paris, 1879), by 
Gogerly in J.R.A.S., Ceylon Branch, 1847, and by 
R. C. Childers in the Contemporary Review, London, 

We agree with Rhys Davids when he says that 
anyway the Buddha's doctrine of love and good will 
between man and man is here set forth in a domestic 
and social ethics with more comprehensive detail 
than elsewhere. In a canon compiled by members 
of a religious order and largely concerned with the 
mental experiences and ideals of recluses, and 
with their outlook on the world, it is of great interest 
to find in it a sutta entirely devoted to the outlook 
and relations of the layman on and to his surround- 
ings. Rhys Davids further points out that the 
discourse was felt to possess this interest in the 
long past by Buddliaghosa, or by the tradition he 
handed on, or by both (Dialogues of the Buddha, 
pt. Ill, pp. 168-169). Concerning this sutta, 
Buddhaghosa says " Nothing in the duties of a 
householder is left unmentioned " and so it passed 
current as a gihiviiiaya (Dr. Barua, Note on the 
Bhabra Edict, J.R.A.S., 1915). The real interest of 
this sutta centres round a scheme of the law of 
persons interpreted as a code of moral duties. 
Mrs. Rhys Davids rightly points out that the 
sigala saying is much valued now because the 
others are -nearly all of them lost (Gotama the 
man, pp. 205-206). 

The thirty-second is the Atanatiya Suttanta 
(Digha, III, pp. 194-206) which mentions gods, 


114 A History of Pali Literature 

gandhabbas, and yakkhas who are not pleased with 
the Buddha. It treats of driving them away if 
they attack Buddha's upasakas and upasikas. It 
is a saving chant (rakkha-manta) to get rid of evil 
spirits. In this suttanta mention is made of the 
Kumbhanda petas who had a lord named Virulha 
in the quarter of the south and he had many sons. 
We are further told by this suttanta that the petas 
were backbiters and murderers, brigands, crafty- 
minded rogues, thieves, and cheats. 

The thirty-third is the Sangiti Suttanta 1 (Digha, 
111, pp. 207-271) which deals with Sariputta's 
explanation of the Dhamma. The importance of 
this suttanta lies in the numerical groupings of the 
dhammas obviously on the method followed in the 
Ekuttara or the Anguttara Nikaya. This suttanta 
corresponds, as pointed out by Prof. Takakusu, 
to the Samgitiparayaya Sutra forming one of the 
six Abhidhamma treatises of the Sarvastivada 

The subject-matter of the Puggalapannatti 
is puggala or person. In the treatment of the 
subject, the author gives a table of contents of 
the whole work, and then follows the method of 
the Anguttara Nikaya. He first gives the grouping 
of human types under one term, then under two, 
and so on, up to the grouping under ten terms. 
Again, in its form the Puggalapannatti is indebted 
to the Sangiti Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya. This 
Digha Nikaya suttanta treats of the dasadhamma 
or ten conditions (single doctrine, double doctrines, 
triple doctrines, fourfold doctrines, etc.) much in 
the same way as the Puggalapannatti deals with 
the dasa puggala or ten individuals (i.e., the 
varieties of those walking in the Four Paths). 

1 Vide F. Wellor Ueber die Rahmenor zahlung JOB Samglti- 
Suttanta im Pali Kanon, Asia Major, V, fasc. I, 1928. This sutta 
has been translated into English from Pali by Suriyagoda 
Sumangala Swam! and published in a book form by the M.B.S., 
Colombo, 1904. 

Canonical Pali Literature 115 

Occasionally we find the two subjects over- 
lapping, that is to say, puggalas are mentioned 
in the Sangiti Suttanta, and dhammas are referred 
>to in the Puggalapannatti. Amongst the cattaro 
dhamma of the Sangiti Suttanta, immediately 
following the cattaro ariya vohara, mention is 
made of cattaro puggala (Dlgha, Vol. Ill, p. 232) 
exactly in the same words as in the Matika of the 
Puggalapannatti (Puggalapannatti, p. 7). Amongst 
the satta dhamma of the Sangiti Suttanta we 
find satta puggala dakkhineyya (Dlgha, Vol. Ill, 
p. 253), corresponding to the Matika of the Puggala- 
pafifiatti, P.T.S., pp. 30-36. 

The thirty-fourth and the last is the Dasuttara 
Suttanta (Dlgha, III, pp. 272-293) which provides 
us with a sort of compendium of the dhamma in 
ten numerical settings and as shown by Dr. Takakusu 
corresponds to one of the six Abhidharma treatises 
of the Sarvastivada school. With this sutta the 
third or the last volume of the Dlgha Nikdya comes 
to an end. 


The Majjhima Nikaya 1 is the second book of 
the Sutta Pitaka. It is known as the c Middle 
Collection ' or the collection of discourses of medium 
length. It is divided into three books each 
consisting of fifty suttas (pannasas). But the text 

1 Majjhima Nikaya, P.T.S. Ed., Vol. I, by V. Trenckner ; 
Vol. II, pt. I, by R. Chalmers (Now Lord); and Vol. Ill, by 
R. Chalmers. Indices to the Majjhima Nikaya by Mabel Bode ; 
Majjhima Nikaya, Colombo, 1895. The first fifty discourses 
from the collection of the medium length discourses of Gotama 
the Buddha, freely rendered and abridged from the Pali by the 
bhikkhu Stlacara, V. I. Broslau : W. Markgraf, 1912 (Deutche 
Pali Gesollschaft) Die Roden Gotamo Buddhos : aus der mittleren 
Sammlung Majjhimanikayo des Pali-Kaiions Zum ersten Mai 
uebersotzt von K. E. Neumann, Leipzig; W. Friedrich, 1896- 
1902 ; Discorsi di Gotamo Buddho del majjhimo Nikayo. Per la 
prima volta tradotti dal testo pali da. K. E. Neumann, e.g. 
de Lorenzo. 3 vols. 

For English translations of the suttas vide Further Dialogues 
of the Buddha by Lord Chalmers, vols. I and II. 

116 A History of Pali Literature 

in the P.T.S. edition contains 152 suttas, the third 
book containing two suttas in excess of fifty. The 
Chinese Madhyamagama Sutra is to be compared 
with the Pali text of the Majjhima Nikaya, collection* 
of middle suttas, 152 in number (see Bunyiu 
Nanjio's Catalogue of the Chinese Translation of 
the Buddhist Tripitaka, p. 127). This nikaya 
deals with almost all the points of Buddhist religion. 
The suttas of this nikaya throw light not only on 
the life of Buddhist monks but also on such subjects 
as Brahmana sacrifices, various forms of asceticism, 
the relation of the Buddha to the Jainas, and 
the social and political conditions prevailing at 
the time. The four noble truths of the Buddhist 
religion, the doctrine of form or action, refutation 
of the soul theories, different modes of meditation, 
etc., are discussed in this nikaya. 

The Majjhima Nikaya begins with the Mula- 
pariydya Sutta 1 (Majjhima, P.T.8., I, pp. 1-6) which 
lays the scene of the discourse at the pleasure grove 
of Ukkattha. The teaching is proclaimed to be one 
that strikes the keynote of the entire doctrine of 
Buddhism (Sabbadhamma mulapariyaya). The 
popular aspect of this most important discourse is 
to be found in the narrative of the Mulapariyaya 
Jataka (Fausboll, Jataka, II, 259 foil.). In this 
particular discourse the Buddha has critically 
surveyed the real position of the contemporary 
systems of philosophy, pointing out the difference 
that exists between the standpoint of these systems 
of philosophy and his own. It is apparent from 
this sutta that there were then current in India 
good many philosophical and theological beliefs, 
the most of which can be found in the philosophical 
and metaphysical works of the Hindus and in the 
books of the Jains. This sutta touches on the 

1 This sutta which has been translated as a Discourse on the 
original cause of all phenomena has been translated into English 
from Pali by Suriyagoda Sumahgala Thera and published in a 
book form by the Maha Bodhi Society, Colombo, 1908. Dr. 
Neumann lias translated this sutta into German. 

lanonical Pali Literature 117 

soul theory. A fair idea of Nirvana 1 can be gathered 
from this sutta. This sutta further informs us that 
the disciples of the Buddha who are greatly learned 
and ariyasavakas (noble disciples) know Pajapati, 
Brahma, Abhassara gods, Subhakinna gods, Vehap- 
phala, Abhibhu, Akasanancayatana, Vinnanancaya- 
tana, Akincannayatana, Nevasannanasannayatana 
gods (vide my " Heaven and Hell in Buddhist 
Perspective", pp. 8 foil.). 

The object of the Sabbdsava Sutta (M.N., 
Vol. /, pp. 6-12) is to show how the banes (asavas) 
can be overcome. The Buddha says that relief 
from all banes comes to those who only can see 
and comprehend all things. Banes may be destroyed 
by a man who is wisely attentive. Banes may also 
be destroyed by discernment, restraint, carefulness, 
endurance, suppression, and mental exercise. Those 
whose actions bring to sensual lust, craving for 
existence, thought for the past existence are blame- 
worthy. They fall victims to the following views : 

I have a self 2 
I have not a self. 

By self I apprehend self .... eternity and 
identity of the self ; 

and then fall into the net of diverse views. Those 
who pay attention to the worthy things get rid of 
these. If attention is paid only to the worthy 
things then no bane can come in. 

Heirs of truth, Solitude, and the Middle Path 
are the topics of discussion in the Dhammaddydda 
Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 12-16). Here the Lord 
distinguishes between the two classes of monks, 
one that clings to the Dhamma and the other that 

1 Mrs. Rhys Davids is perfectly right when she gives an idea 
of Nirvana by saying that it is merely the ending of the bad 
(Gotama the man, p. 46), and we should add, beginning of the 

2 Mrs. Rhys Davids has ably dealt with the subject of atta 
in Buddhism vide Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya or Buddhist origins, 
pp. 186 foil. 

118 A History of Pali Literati 1 / e 

clings to the food to enable him to practise Dhamma. 1 
The Lord praises the former, the keeper of the real 
truth. For contentment and quietness of mind 
will enable him to purge off the impurities. 

Sariputta is now introduced in the second 
part of the sutta and is delivering sermons on 
solitude. He says that there are three ways in 
which the disciples of the lonely master fail to 
practise solitude. He then explains the Middle 
Path which leads to the destruction of avarice, 
hatred, delusion, etc., and consequently to the 
attainment of Nibbana. Note that this sutta falls 
into two parts. The first part is merely an intro- 
duction in which the Buddha relates the story of 
the two bhikkhus, Amisadayada and Dhamma- 
dayada. The Buddha then departs and Sariputta 
takes up the thread of the discourse and explains 
the doctrinal points involved in this sutta. 

The subject-matter of the Bhayabherava Sutta 
(M.N., I, pp. 16-24; Fear and Terror) is how 
terror may arise in mind. The Lord says to 
Janussoni the brahmin that fear only comes to 
him who comes into the depth of forests with heart 
filled with longings and desires or restless or witless 
and drivelling. This sutta explains why terror 
arises to some and not to others. The real value of 
this sutta consists in its being reminiscent of the 
fearless endeavours of the Buddha previous to his 
enlightenment. This portion occurs in the Dlgha 
and Majjhima many times. In this discourse the 
subject of jhana 2 or ' raft musing ' or ' abstraction ' 
has been dealt with in glowing language. 

1 MFH. Rhys Davids has written a very interesting and 
illuminating chapter on Dhanna (Dhamma) in Sakya See Sakya 
or Buddhist Origins, pp. 06-74. She in her Gotama the man says 
that it is better not to translate it. Dhamma, ' a thing as it 
may be' means a possibility. Sylvain Levi's rendering of 
Dhamma by ideal is somewhat better but is only inadequate in 
that it words not the thing but only the idea of it (p. 56). 

2 See Mrs. Rhys Davids, Sakya or Buddhist Origins, pp. 171 

Canonical Pali Literature 119 

The Anangana Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 24-32; 
Freedom from depravity) points out that a man 
undepraved cannot be free unless and until he 
himself sees that he is really far from depravation, 
that is, unless he knows the pitfalls he may fall 

Then Sariputta says that there are some monks 
who seek position and who like pleasure. These 
monks are bad. 

A reference to a naked ascetic Panduputta 
as cited by Mahamoggallana in the course of the 
discourse shows that the naked ascetics as a sect 
were in existence and they were not free from 

This sutta does not claim to have come from 
the mouth of the Lord and is a mere discourse 
among the disciples while the Lord was still alive. 
Its inclusion within the nikaya shows first that the 
suttas were collected not only because they emanated 
from the Lord himself but also because of the 
seal of approval attached to them by the Master. 

The Akankheyya Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 33-36) 
teaches us that the Lord advises his disciples to 
observe the strict rules of the sila (precepts) and 
Patimokkha (Patimokkha samvara sambhuta). 
Longing for fame and reputation and power to 
know others' minds may be in their hearts. But 
this should not be. The monks will only observe 
the rule, be subdued and restrained, and practise 
the precepts of conduct faithfully. 

In the Vatthupama Sutta (M.N., pp. 36-40; 
parable of the cloth) the Lord exhorts the monks 
to be pure in mind and to wipe off all impurities. 
Let not impurities of mind remain. Let the monks 
know what impurities are and fully knowing 
they will abandon them. When they have 
abandoned them, they will have generated faith in 
the Buddha and in the rules that will guide him 
and the Samgha. 

The Brahmin Bharadvaja of Sundarika asks the 
Lord if he goes to the Bahuka river. The Lord 

120 A History of Pali Literature 

questions him the reason and when Bharadvaja 
says that the river possesses the power of purifying, 
the Lord explains that to purify the mind one 
need not go there. Bharadvaja is afterwards 

Of the two parts of this Sutta the second is 
relevant only if we take yet the faint connection 
of purifying power of the Bahuka river with the 
purifying power of mind. Otherwise the episode 
of Bharadvaja is out of place. There are two 
points worthy of notice: (1) that the parable of 
cloth may be interpreted as an illustration of the 
popular Buddhist conception of mind in tabula rasa 
or clean sheet of cloth, contaminated by impurities 
which being foreign to its nature (agantukadosa) 
can be ultimately got rid of (B. M. Barua, Pre- 
Buddhistic Indian Philosophy, p. 399), and (2) 
that it preserves a very ancient Pali couplet 
mentioning seven important rivers, e.g. Bahuka, 
Adhikakka, Gaya, and the rest as holy waters in 
which the people bathed to wash away their sins 
and impurities, Gaya being represented the chief 
of all. 

In the Sallekha Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 40-46) the 
Blessed One in reply to Malia-Cunda's question 
says that in order to get rid of the various false 
views current about self and the universe, an 
almsman should see with right comprehension that 
there is no ' mine ', no ' this is I ', 110 ' this is myself '. 
Each of the planes (the four ecstasies, infinity of 
space, of mind, of Naught of neither perception 
nor imperception, etc.) is called by the Buddha 
not an expunging but an excellent state. According 
to the Buddha this is the way to expunge though 
others may be harmful, an almsman should be 
harmless ; others may kill and lie, but an almsman 
should not do so. 

In the Sammdditthi Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 46-55) 
(Right Belief) we find that Sariputta wants to 
know what right belief means. At this the 
monks themselves become anxious to know from 

Canonical Pali Literature 121 

him the meaning of it. Then Sariputta says that 
right belief means the disciples' knowledge of good 
and evil with all their roots. 

In the fold of evil are included : 

(1) to kill, (2) to steal, (3) to be guilty of 
sex indulgences, (4) to speak falsely, (5) to spread 
scandal, (6) to speak harshly, (7) to speak roughly, 
(8) to speak frivolously, (9) to covet, (10) to cherish 
ill-will, (11) to entertain erroneous views; 

within the fold of rest of evil are included : 
(1) Desire, (2) Hatred, (3) Delusion; 

within fold of good are included : 

(1) to abstain from (as above in evil) ; 

within the root of good are included : 

(1) Absence of attachment to passion, (2) Love, 
(3) Wisdom. 

At the suggestion of the fellow monks, Sariputta 
acknowledges the various ways leading to right 
belief, namely : 

1. by knowing aharo (nutriment) its origin, its 

cessation and 
the cause 
leading to its 

2. Do. Suffering Do. 

3. Do. Decay and death Do. 

4. Do. birth Do. 

5. Do. existence Do. 

6. Do. attachment Do. 

7. Do. sensation Do. 

8. Do. contact Do. 

9. Do. activity Do. 

10. Do. ignorance Do. 

11. Do. canker Do. 

In the Satipatthdna Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 55-63) 
the Lord says to the monks that there is but one way 
that leads to the purification of mortals and that 

122 A History of Pali Literal^ 

is the four Satipatthanas, 1 e.g. to keep watch over 
(1) body (kaya), (2) sensation (vedana), (3) mind 
(citta), and (4) phenomenon (dhamma). 

The tone of this long sutta, known as the 
Satipatthana Sutta, is always harmonious. The 
Buddha advises the monks to practise mindfulness. 
It is by the fourfold mastering of mindfulness that 
one can pass beyond sorrow and lamentation and 
ills of body and of mind and obtain the right path 
and realise nirvana. 

The teachings in this sutta may be judged as 
the corner-stone of the whole of the Buddhist 
system of self-culture. 

The Culaslhandda Sutta (M.N., I, 63-68) informs 
us that the Blessed One asks his disciples to tell 
the votaries of other paths that they excel them 
in the following : 

1. Sattharipasada (faith in teacher), 

2. Dhammepasada (faith in the law), 

3. Silesu paripurakarita (strict observance of 

4. Sahadhammika piyamanapagahattha c'eva 
pabbajita ca agreeableness in the company of the 
dear fellow believers whether they are laymen or 

He explains to them that all ideas about self, 
eternity, non-eternity arise from the clinging to 
the self, i.e. non-comprehension of the law. 

We find here that there are some philosophers 
who hold the existence of things to be eternal 
while others belief in the non-existence of things. 

In the Mahdslhandda Sutta (M.N., I, 68-83 ; 
great lion's roar) we read that Sariputta informed 
the Blessed One that Sunakkhatta, a Licchavi 

1 It is interesting to note here the valuable remarks of Mrs. 
Rhys Davids in her Gotaraa the man (p. 222), " the same way of 
values in the other formula of ordered thinking called the four 
satipatt-hanas has, as two of its stages ' ideas' and 'mind', brought 
in the same two ideas here, where the training has a somewhat, 
but not wholly, different emphasis. And it will not be a true 
picture of my teaching, if the training in iddhi is passed over" 


" onical Pali Literature 123 


prince, who had left the Order, spoke ill of him. 
At this the lion-like Lord began to roar that his 
teachings were such that if one pondered over 
them one would surely leave the world. Sariputta 
further informed the Buddha that he was so powerful 
because he possessed the ten powers which included 
his capacity for knowing facts. He further declared 
that he possessed the four Vesarajjas (four kinds of 
confidence). He also knew the various classifications 
of beings, the birth of beings, the Nibbana, the 
mind of men, and the five different destinies of 
men. This long sutta only glorifies the Buddha. 

Reference is also made to the existence of 
certain kinds of religious men (1) who believe in 
purification by food, (2) who believe in purification 
by offering, and (3) who believe in purification by 
the fire rituals. The Lomadhamsapariyaya is an 
alternative title suggested in this discourse. A 
popular version of this discourse is to be found in 
the Lomahamsa Jataka. 1 

The Mahddukkhakkhandha Sutta (M.N., I, 
83-90) tells us that the monks were thinking as 
to the distinction between their school of thought 
and those of the other sects, particularly when both 
taught subjects of desire. They approached the 
Lord and the Lord asked them if they could put 
the question before the ascetics of the other sects 
as to the pleasures of senses, and escape from 
sensual pleasures, etc. Surely the ascetics of the 
other sects would be puzzled. This sutta informs 
us that it is the sensual pleasure that brings lots of 
troubles when kings fight, private persons engage in 
feuds, etc. So the end of sensual pleasure is happiness. 

In this sutta we find a long enumeration of the 
offences that were punishable by the penal laws 
of ancient India, e.g. burglary, robbery, highway, 
adultery, etc. The kind of punishment for each 
offence is mentioned as follows : by flogging, by 
bastinado, by bludgeoning, by cutting off hands 

1 Fausboll, Jataka, Vol. I, pp. 389 foil. 

124 A History of Pali Literatme 

or feet, hands and feet, ears or nose, ears and nose 
or they are subjected to the tortures of the sauce- 
pan, 1 the chauk-shave or the lanthorn, 2 the wreath 
of fire, 8 the fiery hand, the hay-band, 4 the bark-' 
robe, the black hart, 6 the meat-hooks, 6 the pennies, 7 
the pickle 8 , bolting the door 9 or the palliasse 10 
or they are sprayed with boiling oil, or are given to 
starved dogs to devour, or are impaled alive, or 
have their heads chopped off. 

There is a reference here to sects other than 
the order of Buddhist monks, for whom too sensual 
pleasure was the main point of attack and their 
identification will be of great interest. 

There is also a mention of the kinds of pro- 
fession that suited the householder, e.g. 

1. Mudda . . conveyancing 

2. Ganana . . accountancy 

3. Sankha . . appraising 

4. Kasi . . agriculture 

5. Vanijja . . trade and commerce 

6. Gorakkha . . cattle breeding 

7. Issattha . . soldiery 

8. Rajaporisa . . royal service 

1 The skull was first trepanned and then a red-hot ball of 
iron was dropped in so that the brains boiled over like porridge. 

2 The mouth was fixed open with a skewer and a lighted lamp 
put inside. This torture was called the mouth of Rahu because 
Raliu, the asura, was supposed at an eclipse to swallow the sun. 

3 The whole body was oiled before ignition but mat! suggests 
a coronal of flames just as the next torture is localized to the hands. 

4 From the neck downwards the skin was flayed into strips 
not severed at the ankles but there plaited like a hay-band to 
suspend him till he fell by his own weight. In the next torture 
the strips formed a kilt. 

5 The victim was skewered to the ground through elbows 
and knees with a tire lighted all round him so as to char his flesh. 

6 The victims were slung up by double hooks through flesh 
and tendons. 

7 With a razor little discs of flesh were shaved off all over the 

8 Into gashes salt or alkali was rubbed with combs. 

9 The head was nailed to the ground by a skewer through 
both ear-holes. 

10 The skin being left intact, the bones and inwards were pound- 
ed till the whole frame was as soft as a straw mattress (Lord 
Chalmers, Further Dialogues of the Buddha, Ft. I, pp. 61-62 f.n.). 

Canonical Pali Literature 125 

and other arts and occupations, e.g. clerk of the 
signet, clerk of accompt, computer, estate-agent, 
purveyor, herd-manager, archer, member of the 
royal household. 

The Culadukkhakkhandha Sutta (M.N., /, 91-95) 
informs us that Mahanama the Sakya approached 
the Lord and asked him, " How is it that thoughts 
for craving, hatred, and delusion are the defilements 
of mind ? " The Lord explained to him thus 
" something has not been cast out and for this 
such trouble comes to him again". In this sutta 
is found a description of the naked ascetics whom 
the Buddha is said to have met. Some of the naked 
ascetics lived in large numbers at the Black rock 
in Rajagaha. Their teacher was Nathaputta who 
believed in bad works done by them in their past 
life for which they were to suffer. They believed 
that by suffering, happiness may be attained. 

The object of Anumdna Sutta (M.N., I, 95-100) 
is to warn the monks in concrete cases to be careful. 

Mahamoggallana advises the monks that if 
any of them goes astray and does not listen to the 
warnings of the fellow monks then the best way 
lies with them is to punish him by not mixing 
with him and not speaking to him. 

Like the Mahavagga and Patimokkha this 
sutta enumerates offences and their punishments. 
Nowhere there is any mention of a citation of a 
standard book on these rules. And the principal 
figure here is not the Lord but Mahamoggallana. 
Buddhaghosa informs us that this discourse was 
known to the ancients as Bhikkhuvinaya or treatises 
on discipline. 

The Cetokhila Sutta (M.N., I, 101-104) lays 
down that there are five bolts of the heart, e.g. 
the doubt about the teacher, the doubt about 
the doctrine or confraternity or the course of 
training with the lack of bent towards ardour, 
zeal, perseverance and exertion and anger and 
displeasure towards fellows in higher life. The 
Buddha says that there are five cetaso vinibandha 

126 A History of Pali Literatujx 


(five mental enslavements or five bondages of the 
mind) 1 from which every monk has to free himself 
in order to achieve the highest goal. 

The sutta also lays down some Vinaya rules 
and illustrates the cases. It may be pointed out 
that the Buddhist term cetokhila corresponds to 
Jaina dukkhasejjd (the thorny bed). 

In the Vanapattha Sutta (M.N., I, 104-108; 
Woodland Solitude) the Blessed One lays before 
his disciples a way of woodland solitude. The 
Master quotes instances of monks living in forests 
with an unbalanced mind and an unsteady recollec- 
tion. Such monks could not achieve anything 
noble because they were not accustomed to live 
without necessities. 

This sutta also exemplifies the Vinaya rules, 
as for example, a monk's needs in the matter of 
clothing, food, bed, and medicaments. 

The Madhupindika Sutta (M.N., I, 108-114; 
the Daily morsel) points out that Dandapani, 
the Sakya, met the Blessed One and asked him 
what doctrine the latter held. At this the Blessed 
One explained to him that he held such a doctrine 
that both Brahma and Mara were unable to hold. 
At this Dandapani retired. The Buddha then 
narrated the events to the disciples who also wanted 
to know what doctrine the Blessed One held. He 
then retired after telling them his doctrine in a 
nut-shell that there is an end of all inclinations to 
passion, pride, doubts, ignorance, and speculative 
ideas for a man if he does not adhere to obsessions, 
whatever be the origin. Then Mahakaccana was 
sought after by the monk to explain the meaning 

1 Attachment to sensual pleasures, attachment to the body, 
attachment to the visible forms, if after eating as much as his 
belly will hold, a bhikkhu is fond of his chair or bed or of 
slumber, then his heart's bent is not towards ardour, zeal, 
perseverance, and exertions. If a bhikkhu aspiring to belong 
to one of the deva communities practises morality saying unto 
himself that by practising this precept, vow, asceticism or austerity 
he would become a particular god, then his heart's bent is not 
towards ardour, etc. 

anonical Pali Literature 127 

of what the Blessed One had spoken so briefly. 
Thereupon Mahakaccana explained to the fellow 
monks the psychological meaning of the sayings 
,of the Buddha. Then the Lord also corroborated 
the same statement of Mahakaccana. 

The Dvedhdvitakka Sutta (M.N., I, 114-118) is 
very important so far as the history of Pali literature 
is concerned. Mahakaccana's exposition of what the 
Buddha had spoken shortly furnishes us at least 
with important data as to the way in which the 
system of exposition began, and that the system 
of Abhidhamma exposition based on philosophical 
thought and explanation of what the Buddha 
had spoken may be found here. Here we may 
find the genesis of Abhidhamma and the author 
was the same Mahakaccana. Mahakaccana's duty 
was ever the same. No text is referred to as there 
was no text and the succeeding numbers of texts 
are nothing but embodiments of all philosophical 
expositions and Buddha's short teachings which 
are sought to have passed through the mouth of 
Buddha's disciples, e.g. Mahakaccana. 

The Blessed One explained to his disciples 
that he failed to achieve the highest object so 
long as he practised the habit of dividing things 
which gave rise in his heart to craving, considera- 
tions of ill-will and cruelty. But when he thought 
and pondered more on renunciation, then the 
thoughts of craving passed away. He gave them 
a number of parables and finally exhorted them 
to devote themselves to meditation so that they 
might not have to repent later on. 

In the Vitakkasanthdna Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 118- 
122) we find that there are discussions which bring 
about merit and there are discussions which bring 
about demerit, suffering, etc. A bhikkhu should 
be called one who is well restrained in discussions 
when he discusses with one who wants discussion 
and refuses discussion with one who does not want it. 

The Kakaciipama Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 122-129 ; 
parable of the saw) points out that the Blessed 

128 A History of Pali Literature 


One spoke in very reproaching terihs to Moliya- 
Phagguna and asked him to avoid the society of 
bhikkhums and to do as the senior bhikkhus 
instructed him to do. He should drive away all 
anger from his mind and should not give way to 
anger even if villainous bandits were to carve him 
limb from limb with a two-handled saw (ubhato- 
dandakena kakacena). 

In the Alagaddupama Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 130- 
142 ; parable of the snake) Arittha says that what 
Buddha had laid down, so far as hindrance was 
concerned, was not yet sufficient. The monks tried 
to correct him and failing in this they approached 
the Buddha. Buddha sent for Arittha and when 

the latter arrived before him he approached him 
saying that the teachings were quite sufficient but 
that Arittha had not well comprehended them 
and that he had been misguided. 1 

The Vammlka Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 142-145 ; the 
parable of the ant-hill) deserves only a passing 

In the Raihavinita Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 145-151) 
Punna Mantaniputta 2 dwells upon the various 
stages in the path of the attainment of nibbana. 8 
One cannot have nibbana at once. Nibbana is the 
goal and to attain that one is to pass through 
various states of mind, one leading to the other. 
First, purity of life will take one as far as purity of 
heart and no further, and purity of heart takes 
one only up to purity of views. In the same way 
one will have gradually the purity by dispelling 
doubts, the purity by the fullest insight into paths, 
right and wrong, the purity by insight into the way 
by which to walk, and the purity which insight 

1 Cf. Vinaya Texts, II, S.B.E., p. 377, Vinaya Pifcaka, Vol. II, 
Cullavagga, pp. 25 foil. 

2 Vide Mrs. Rhys Davids, Gotama the man, pp. 111-113. 

3 For an interesting discussion on Nibbana (see * Buddhistic 
Studies* edited by B. C. Law, pp. 564 foil.). It is true to say that 
nibbana is not for many but for the very ripe few (Gotama the 
man, p. 174). 

Canonical Pali Literature 129 

gives. The question of Upatissa in this sutta is 
identified by Dr. Neumann with the passage, 
entitled Upatissapasine in Asoka's Bhabru Edict. 
We agree with Dr. B. M. Barua in thinking that 
Buddhaghosa's encyclopaedic Visuddhimagga or even 
Buddhadatta's earlier Abhidhamma Manual, Abhi- 
dhammavatara, is nothing but an elaborate treat- 
ment of the topics suggested in the questions of 

In the Nivdpa Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 151-160) 
we find that the Buddha instructs the bhikkhus 
how to avoid the five pleasures of senses and thus 
become free from the clutches of Mara and his 
train. According to the Master such a bhikkhu is 
said to have passed the range of vision of the Evil 
One, who divested of pleasures and wrong states 
of mind abides in the First Ecstacy, the Second 
Ecstacy, the Third Ecstacy, the Fourth Ecstacy, 
the plane of infinity of space, the plane of infinity 
of consciousness, the plane of naught, the plane 
of neither perception nor non-perception, the plane 
where feeling and perception cease. 

The Ariyapariyesana Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 160- 
175) furnishes us with one of the earliest examples 
of legends of the early days of Buddhahood, and 
as such it forms the historical basis of later legendary 
accounts in the Jatakas and Avadanas. 

In the Culahatthipadopama Sutta (M.N., I, 
pp. 175-184) the Buddha narrates to the brahmin 
Janussoni the achievements of a Truth-finder. A 
Truth-finder preaches his doctrine which is con- 
ducive to good of all. He propounds a higher 
life that is wholly complete and pure. This doctrine 
is heard by the head of a house or his son or by 
one of any other birth, who hearing it forsakes the 
worldly life and becomes a bhikkhu. He keeps the 
silas (precepts), cula (small), majjhima (middle size), 
and maha (large). He becomes a master of this 
noble code of virtue and of control of his faculties 
of sense. He becomes a master of noble mindful- 
ness and purpose in all he does. He resorts to a 


130 A History of Pali Literyf^re 

lonely lodging. His heart is set on mindfulness. 

His life is purged of all evils. He abides in the 
Four Ecstacies. This is the Truth-finder's footprint. 
The disciple of the Noble concludes that the Lord 
is Enlightened and he has truly revealed his Doctrine 
and his Order walks aright. 

The Mahdhatthipadopama Sutta (M.N., /, 
pp. 184-191) is attributed to Sariputta. Sariputta 
says that just as the foot of every creature that 
walks the earth will go into the elephant's footprint, 
which is pre-eminent for size, even so are all right 
states of mind comprised within the Four Noble 
Truths ill, the origin of ill, the cessation of ill, 
and the way leading to the cessation of ill. Sariputta 
then explains the Noble Truth of ill and says that 
the Five Attachments to existence (visible shape*;, 
feeling, perception, plastic forces, and consciousness) 
are ill. He next dwells upon the constituents of 
the attachment of visible shapes, viz. earth, water, 
fire and air, and concludes by saying that what is 
true of visible objects, is equally true of sound, 
smell, taste, touch, and mind. 

In the Mahasdropama Sutta (M.N., 1, pp. 192- 
197) the Buddha refers to Devadatta's secession 
from the Order 1 and says that there are certain 
youths who outwardly being allured by the life of 
monks leave the household life. As monks, they 
receive presents, esteem, and repute. But these 
things so please them and so satisfy their aspirations 
that thereby they become puffed up and disparage 
others. Thus they grow remiss, and having become 
remiss, live a prey to ill. But there are also certain 
youths who do not fall a prey to ill. 

In the Gulasdropama Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 198- 
205) the Blessed One says to the brahmin Pingala- 
Koccha that the reward of the higher life is not to 
be found in presents, esteem, and repute, nor in a 
life of virtue, nor in rapt concentration, nor in 
Mystic Insight. It is immutable Deliverance which 

1 Of. Vinaya Texts, III, S.B.E., pp. 238 foil. 

9ktqionical Pali Literature 131 

is the prize and the goal of the higher life. This 
is the Buddha's reply to the question of the brahmin 
Pihgala-Koccha. The question is this : whether by 
feason of their own professed creed that all of the 
religious teachers, such as Purana Kassapa, Makkhali 
Gosala, Ajita Kesa-Kambali, Pakudha Kaccayana, 
Sanjaya Belatthiputta, and Nigantha Nathaputta 1 
have, or have not, discerned truth, or that some of 
them have discerned it, while others have not. 
In this sutta Buddha simply reproduces verbatim 
what we get about these six teachers at Sumangala- 
vilasim, I, pp. 142-4. 

In the Culagosinga Sutta (Jfcf.JV., /, pp. 205-211) 
the Lord praises Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila 2 
who by putting an end to evil desires have risen 
beyond the ordinary mortals. 

In the Mahdgosinga Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 212- 
219) we find that in reply to the question what 
type of bhikkhu would illumine Gosinga wood, 
Ananda speaks of one who treasures and hoards 
what he has been taught and learns by heart the 
ideas which declare the higher life in all its per- 
fection and purity ; Rcvata, of one who delights in 
meditation ; Anuruddha, of one who is blessed with 
the celestial eye ; Mahakassapa, of one who living 
in the forest recommends forest life and lives in 
solitude ; Mahamoggallana, of one who holds dis- 
course on the Abhidhamma with another bhikkhu 
for gaining edification on it ; Sariputta, of one who is 
master of his heart ; and the Buddha, of one whose 
heart is delivered from all evil desires. 

In the Mahdgopdlaka Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 220- 
224) the Buddha says that there are eleven good or 
bad qualities, in the case of a bhikkhu, which 
either enable him to show or disable him from show- 
ing progress in the doctrine and rites. A bhikkhu 
who knows the four elements, comprehends what 

1 Vide Buddhistic Studies (edited by B. C. Law), pp. 73-88, 
chap. Ill, on six heretical teachers by B. C. Law. 

2 Of. the Vinaya account, S.B.E., XX, 228. 

132 A History of Pali Litery&re 


marks the doings of the fool and the doings of the 
wise, develops control over his faculty of sight, 
goes from time to time to learned bhikkhus to ask 
and enquire of the difficult points of doctrine, has & 
perfect knowledge of the Noble Eightfold Path 
(ariyo atthangiko maggo) and tends with special 
attention the experienced and senior Elders, can 
really show growth, increase, and progress in the 
doctrine. But a bhikkhu who has not these qualities 
cannot show progress in the doctrine. 

In the Culagopdlaka Sutta (M.N.,I 9 pp. 225-227) 
the Buddha says that those who will listen to and 
trust in the recluses and brahmins who are wrong 
about this world and hereafter, wrong about what 
is and what is not the realm of Mara, 1 wrong about 
what is and what is not the realm of Death, will 
long suffer and smart for it. They who follow the 
recluses and brahmins who rightly comprehend 
this world and the next, the realm of Mara and 
Death, will long enjoy weal and welfare. 

In the Culasaccaka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 227-237) 
we have an account of a conversation between 
Saccaka and the Buddha. This Saccaka was the 
son of a Jain (woman), and was a great controversial- 
ist who gave himself out as learned and was held 
in high popular repute. 

The Mahdsaccaka Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 237-251) 
narrates the Lord's triumph over Saccaka whose 
aim was to discredit the Buddha and the Doctrine 
and the Confraternity. It appears from this sutta 
that Mahavira (Nigantha Nathaputta) is said to 

1 Mrs. Rhys Davids' interpretation of Mara is worth noticing. 
She says, " when we used the term ' mara ' it was to speak of 
this or man as a very type of will-worsener, either as a sceptic, or 
as an encourager of low desires. .. .Mara is never a very devil 
or demon but just a man who wills evil. The name means death 
and evil leads ever to some sort of destroying. The many stories on 
Mara mean only that. Mara is never described save as some man 
or creature. Never as woman I The daughters of Mara come 
nearest to that. Woman was reckoned as in herself Mara without 
the name" (Gotama the man, pp. 126-127). Read in this connec- 
tion my paper on the Buddhist conception of Mara (Buddhistic 
Studies, pp. 257 foil.). 

Canonical Pali Literature 133 


have laid equal stress on manokamma and kaya- 
kamma on the ground of the interaction of the 
body and mind (cittanvayo kayo hoti, kayanvayam 
eittam hoti). 

In the Culatanhdsankhaya Sutta (M.N., I, 
pp. 251-256) the Lord explains briefly how a bhikkhu 
wins deliverance by the extirpation of cravings, 
so as to become consummate in perfection, in his 
union with peace, and in the higher life, and fore- 
most among gods and men. 

In the Mahdtanhdsankhaya Sutta (M.N., I, 
pp. 256-271) we find the Buddha expounding his 
doctrine to Sati, a fisherman's son, who misunder- 
standing the Lord's teaching of the doctrine, holds 
that consciousness runs on and continues without 
break of identity. 

In the Mahd-Assapura Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 271- 
280) the Buddha enumerates the qualities which 
are essential for an ideal recluse. An ideal recluse 
should be conscientious and scrupulous and pure in 
deed, word, and thought. He should train himself 
to guard the portals of the senses and to moderation 
in food. He should be mindful and self-possessed 
and should live in solitude and sit in a charnel- 
ground with his mind set on mindfulness. He 
should put away the five hindrances and abide in 
the Four Ecstacies (jhana is rapt musing or abstrac- 
tion, according to Mrs. Rhys Davids). Such a 
bhikkhu is styled brahmin, noble, and saintly. 

In the Cula-Assapura Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 281- 
284) the Lord also speaks of the recluse's regimen. 
A bhikkhu should not tread the recluse's path of 
duty. He should put away greed, malice, wrath, 
revenge, hypocrisy, fraud, and evil desires from 
him. It is not the robe which makes the recluse, 
nor living under a tree, nor intoning texts, nor hav- 
ing matted hair. It is by putting away all the 
qualities that one becomes a true bhikkhu. 
putting away the five hindrances and desl 
the cankers a bhikkhu abides in the Four 

134 A History of Pali 

The Sdkyyaka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 285-290) 
narrates how the Buddha exhorted the brahmin 
householders of Sala, a brahmin village of the 
Kosalans, convincing them of the truth of what 
he said. This sutta gives a list of all the gods 
of the Kamaloka, Rupaloka, and Arupaloka in the 
proper order though without the details which, 
however, must have been known to the author of 
these suttas. 

In the Veranjaka Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 290-291) 
the Master instructed the brahmins who came to 
Savatthi from Veranja on some business or other, 
convincing them of the truth of his doctrine. 

The Mahdvedalla Sutta 1 (M.N., /, pp. 292-298) 
is a catechism of questions and answers of certain 
psychological topics, e.g. understanding, conscious- 
ness, feeling, perception, pure mental consciousness 
isolated from the five faculties of bodily sense, eye 
of understanding, right outlook, types of rebirth, 
and first jhana ('rapt musing or abstraction'). 

In the Culavedalla Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 299-305) 
the bhikkhum, Dhammadinna, replies to the lay 
disciple Visakha's questions on personality, the 
Noble Eightfold Path (ariya atthangikamagga), and 
the plastic forces (samkhara). 

In the Culadhammasarndddna Sutta and the 
Mahddhammasamdddna Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 305- 
317) the Master says that there are four ways to 
profess a doctrine. The first is pleasant for the 
time being but ripens to pain thereafter ; the second 
is unpleasant for the time being and ripens to 
pain thereafter ; the third is unpleasant for the 
time being but ripens to be pleasant thereafter ; 
and the fourth is not only pleasant for the time 
being but also ripens to be pleasant thereafter. 

1 Read 'The Vedalla Sutta as illustrating the psychological 
basis ' by C. A. Foley, M. A. In this paper questions on matters 
mainly psychological are answered and some miscellaneous philo- 
sophical problems, psychological, ethical, logical, and metaphysical 
are raised and discussed, J.R.A.S., 1894. 

Read also Mrs. Rhys Davids' Buddhist Psychology. 

Canonical Pali Literature 135 

In the Virhamsaka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 317-320) 
the Buddha says that the enquiring bhikkhu who 
searches the heart of others, ought to study the 
t Truth-finder. He ought to study the Truth-finder 
in respect of the two states of consciousness which 
come through eye and ear. He should see whether 
the revered man is restrained in fearlessness or 
through fear or whether it is solely by reason of 
passionlessness that he eschews pleasures of senses, 
having eradicated all passion. If any man's faith 
in the Truth-finder is planted by the foregoing 
researches, then such faith is based on insight and 

In the Kosambiya Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 320-325) 
we are told that once disputes were ripe in Kosambi 
among the bhikkhus regarding certain Vinaya rules. 
The Master spoke on amity and its root in order 
to bring about a conciliation. 

In the Brahmanimantanika Sutta 1 (M.N., I, 
pp. 326-331) we are told that the Buddha held 
conversation with Baka the Brahma who conceived 
the pernicious view that this world was permanent 
with no rebirth thence. The Master explained what 
was true. Mara tried to conquer both the Buddha 
and Brahma, but he failed to do so. 

The Mdratajjaniya Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 332-338) 
is one of those early dialogues which presents an 
episode of the Buddha and Mara, the tempter. 
The verses forming the epilogue of the sutta bear 
a favourable comparison with the Padhana Sutta 
in the Sutta Nipata. With this sutta closes the 
first series of 50 suttas. 

In the Kandaraka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 339-349) 
Buddha speaks against asceticism. He denounces 
one who torments himself and is given to self- 
mortification ; one who torments others and is given 
to tormenting others ; and one who torments himself 
and others, and is given to tormenting both. He 

1 Cf. Saihyutta, 1, 142. No) mention of Mara in the Bakobrahma 
Sutta. Many Brahmakayikadevas are mentioned in this sutta. 

136 A History of Pali Literatur/* 

praises one who tormenting neithefc himself nor 
others dwells beyond appetites and in bliss and in 

In the Atthakandgara Sutta 1 (M.N., I, 349- 
353) Ananda speaks of the steps to Nirvana. A 
bhikkhu divested of pleasures of senses and divested 
of wrong states of consciousness, enters on and 
dwells in the first, the second, the third, and the 
fourth rapt musings or j lianas. With radiant good 
will, pity and sympathy and poised equanimity, he 
pervades the four quarters of the world. By passing 
beyond perception of material objects, perception 
of sense-reactions, and perception of differences, 
he abides in the plane of infinity of space, the plane 
of infinity of consciousness, and the plane of naught. 

In the Sekha Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 353-359) 
Ananda says how a disciple of the Noble is virtuous, 
keeps watch and ward over the portals of sense, 
is temperate in eating, vigilant, established in 
the seven virtuous qualities, and is able at will to 
induce the four rapt musings 2 which transcend 
thought and confer well-being here and now. 

In the Potaliya Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 359-368) 
the Buddha deals with what is true-giving under 
the law of the Noble. This includes abstention 
from killing, theft, lying, calumny, covetousness, 
taunts, anger, and arrogance. 

In the Jwaka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 368-371) 
the Buddha speaks of what is meant by lawful and 
unlawful meats. A bhikkhu should not take meat 
if there is the evidence either of his eyes or of 
his ears or if there are grounds of suspicion that 
the animal is slain expressly for him. They should 
take the same in other cases except these three. 

In the Updli Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 371-387) the 
Buddha had a conversation with Upali, 8 a Jain, 

1 Cf. Anguttara, V, 342-7. 

2 See Mrs. Rhys Davids' Sakya or Buddhist Origins, pp. 
171 foil. 

8 Mrs. Rhys Davids says "in his own way he was worldly 
enough ; the laity looked upon him as the mainstay of a dignified 

\ Canonical Pali Literature 137 

a follower of Nathaputta, the Nigantha. According 
to the Niganthas, there are three kinds of inflictions 
which effect and start demerit those of deed, word, 
and mind. They hold that those of deed are the 
most criminal in effecting and starting demerit, the 
other two being less criminal. The gathas uttered 
by Upali in praise of the qualities of the Buddha 
are pieces of a remarkable composition characterised 
by majestic and dignified tone (cf. Sutrakritanga, 
Jaina Sutras, pt. II, pp. 414-417). 

In the Kukkuravatika-Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 387- 
392) we are told that to Punna Koliyaputta who 
was a man of bovine vow and Seniya, a naked 
ascetic who was a man of canine vow, Buddha says 
that the future state of both is either purgatory or 
rebirth as an animal. The Buddha says that there 
are four kinds of action (1) actions which are dark, 
with dark outcome, (2) actions which are bright, 
with bright outcome, (3) actions which are both 
dark and bright, with dark and bright outcome, 
and (4) actions which are neither dark nor bright, 
with an outcome neither dark nor bright, con- 
ducive to the destruction of Karma. Both Punna 
and Seniya took refuge in the Buddha. 

In the Abhayardjakumdra Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 
392-396) we find that Abhaya-Raja-Kumara, a dis- 
ciple of Nathaputta the Nigantha, tried to discredit 
the Buddha. But the Buddha triumphed over him 
and the latter took refuge in the Buddhist Triad. 
It follows from the evidence available in this sutta 
that Nigantha Nathaputta was aware of the 
dissension between the Buddha and Devadatta 
(vide my Historical Gleanings, p. 93). 

and self-respecting standard in the monk-world. He attached 
great importance to discipline" (Gotama the man, p. 215. Vide 
also my Historical Gleanings, p. 92). Mrs. Rhys Davids draws our 
attention to the fact that the three verses in the collection were not 
by this Upali. He was not a poet. Nor are they by Upali called 
the barber. They are by an Upali of whom no memory remains ; 
the commentary is in double error here (Gotama the man, 
pp. 215-216). 

138 A History of Pali Literaturf 

In the Bahuvedaniya Sutta 1 (M.N., I, pp. 396- 
400) the Lord speaks on the various classes of 
feelings. Five in number are the pleasures of 
senses, namely, material shapes apparent to the 
eye, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Every pleasant 
gratification which arises from these five pleasures of 
senses is called sensual pleasure. But this is not the 
highest pleasure. Beyond this, there is a pleasure 
more excellent. This is enjoyed by a bhikkhu 
who abides by the Four Ecstacies or rapt musings, 
plane of infinity of consciousness and plane of 

In the Apannaka Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 400-413) 
the Master expounds the sound doctrine to recluses 
and brahmins who held views which were diametri- 
cally opposed. He discards both and points out 
the doctrine which is sound, namely, the Master's 
own doctrine. 

In the Ambalatthikd Rdhulovdda Sutta (M.N. 9 
I, pp. 414-420) the Buddha discourses about 
lying. He condemns it and advises the bhikkhus 
to win purity in deed, word and thought by constant 
reflection. This sutta supplies the Pali counterpart 
of the tract referred to in the Bhabru Edict under 
a descriptive title, Laghulavada Sutta, embodying 
the Buddha's discourse on the subject of falsehood. 

In the Mahd Rdhulovdda Sutta (M.N., /, 
pp. 420-426) Sariputta admonishes Rahula to 
develop mindf ulness which comes from inhaling and 
exhaling (breathing exercises). 

In the Cula-Mdlunkya Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 426- 
432) we are told that Malunkya-Putta was dis- 
satisfied with the life of a recluse as the Buddha 
did not expound to him the various speculations 
about the past and present. The Buddha said that 
he did not expound them as they were irrelevant and 
not conducive to the higher life. 

In the MahdrMdlunkya Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 432- 

1 Of. Samyutta Nikaya, IV, pp. 223-8. 

Canonical Pali Literature 139 

437) the Budclha deals with the five bonds 1 which 
chain men to the lower life. He also suggests the 
means to put an end to the five bonds. 

In the Bhadddli Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 437-447) 
the Buddha admonishes Bhaddali to be obedient 
and to conduct himself according to the Master's 

In the Latukikopama Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 447- 
456) the Buddha says that there are foolish people 
who when told to give up something, think that it 
is a matter of no moment. They do not give it 
up. But this insignificant thing grows into a bond 
strong enough to hold them fast. The Latukika 
Jataka 2 is nothing but a popular illustration of 
the teaching of this sutta. 

In ihe^Cdtuma Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 456-462) the 
Lord mentions the four terrors (temper, gluttony, 
the five pleasures of senses and women) which await 
those who, in this doctrine and rule (Dhammavi- 
naya), go forth from home to homelessness as 

In the Nalakapdna Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 462-468 ; 
the stimulus of example) the Truth-finder's object in 
saying that such and such a bhikkhu by tearing 
five bonds, has been translated to a heaven never 
to come back thence to earth, by tearing the three 
bonds he is safe from future states of punishment, 
is not to delude folk, nor to get for himself gains 
or fame, nor to advertise himself as revealing the 
respective states hereafter of his disciples, dead and 
gone. It is because there are young men who 
believe and are filled with enthusiasm and gladness, 
who, on hearing this revelation, concentrate their 
whole hearts on becoming like these, for their own 
abiding good and welfare. For a popular illustration 

1 The five Orarnbhagiyani Samyojanani are the following : 
SakkayadiMhi (false view of individuality), Vicikiccha (doubt), 
Sllabbataparamasa, (affectation of rites), Kamacchanda (desire for 
sensual pleasures), and Byapada (malevolence). 

2 Fausbdil, Jataka, Vol. III. 

140 A History of Pali Literature 

of this teaching, one must turn to Nalakapana 

In the Oulissdni Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 469-473) 
Sariputta discusses the duties of a bhikkhu who 
comes in from the wilds to the confraternity and 
lives with the bhikkhus. Such a bhikkhu should 
show respect and consideration to his fellows in 
the higher life. He should be correct in the matter 
of seats, punctilious neither to displace seniors nor to 
oust juniors. He should not visit the village at too 
early an hour. He ought to keep watch over his 
faculties. He should be moderate in his eating and 
steadfast in good will. 

In the Kltagiri Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 473-481) 
the Buddha admonishes two bhikkhus to put implicit 
faith in his teachings. He says that he has the 
knowledge of what is to be eschewed and that they 
should give it up. 

In the Tevijja-Vacchagotta Sutta (M.N., I, 
pp. 481-483) we are told that Vaccha-gotta, 1 a 
wanderer, had a wrong idea of the lore possessed 
by the Buddha. The recluse Gotama tells the 
wanderer that the threefold lore possessed by him 
is as follows : he can call to mind his past existences, 
with eye celestial he can see creatures in act to pass 
hence and reappear elsewhere, and by destroying 
evil desires he has won deliverance. In this sutta, 
Gotama points out that there is none among the 
Ajivakas who after death has attained arahatship. 
He further says that he knows only one among 
them who has gone to heaven. 

In the Aggi-Vacchagotta Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 483- 
489) we are told that the Master got Aggivaccha- 
gotta as his disciple who put to him questions on 
the speculations about the past and the future. 

In the Mahdvacchagotta Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 489- 
497) we find that the Lord requested by Vaccha, 
explains to him what is right and what is wrong. 
Vaccha is impressed. By his discourses he acts 

1 See Dr. B. C. Law's Historical Gleanings, p. 19. 

Canonical Pali Literature 141 

up to the teachings of the Master. He is in a short 
time numbered among the Arahats. 

In the Dlghanakha Sutta (M.N., I, pp. 497-501) 
Buddha in reply to Dighanakha's question says that 
those who are satisfied with all, hold a view which 
is allied to passion and pleasure. Those who are 
dissatisfied with all, hold a view which is allied to 
passionlessness and freedom. Others again partly 
take the former and partly the latter view. The 
Master then expounds the doctrine leading to 
deliverance. This sutta is referred to as Vedana- 
pariggaha Suttanta in the Dhammapadatthakatha 
(P.T.S.), I, 96. 

In the Mdgandiya Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 501-513) 
we are told that Magandiya, a wanderer, described 
the Buddha in an opprobrious term as a repressionist 
(Bhunahu). 1 Buddha said that he was not so. The 
truth-finder subjugated the ear, the nose, the 
tongue, the body, consciousness and their respective 
functions. He preached the doctrine for the sub- 
jugation of these. The attainment of the highest 
gain can be obtained by destroying all these. 

In the Sandaka Sutta (M.N., /, pp. 513-524) 
Ananda refers to the four antitheses to the higher 
life. First, there is the teacher who holds that it 
does not matter whether actions are good or bad. 
Secondly, there is a teacher who holds that no evil 
is done by him who either acts himself or causes 
another to act, who mutilates or causes another to 
mutilate. Thirdly, there is a teacher who holds that 
there is no cause or reason for either depravity or 
purity. Lastly, there is the teacher who holds the 
Sattakaya doctrine. 

Ananda also speaks of four comfortless vocations. 
First, there is the teacher who is all-knowing and 
all-seeing. Secondly, there is the teacher who 

1 In Sanskrit it is Brunahaii, cf. JUopanisad in which the 
Vajasaneyas speak of some unknown opponents who were perhaps 
unmarried recluses as atmahanojana (vide my Historical Gleanings, 
p. 19). 

142 A History of Pali Literature 

preaches a doctrine which is both traditional and 
scriptural. Thirdly, there is the teacher who is a 
rationalist of pure reason and criticism. Lastly, 
there is the teacher who is stupid and deficient. 
All these are false guides to the higher life. The 
first volume of the Majjhima Nikdya ends with this 

In the Mahasalculudayi Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 1- 
22) the Master deals with the key to pupil's esteem 
how a teacher can command the respect of his dis- 
ciples. In this sutta we read that Sakuludayi 
informed the Buddha that in the past Anga and 
Magadha were seething with sophistic activities. 
Lord Chalmers in his introduction to the Further 
Dialogues of the Buddha, pt. I, p. xix, points out 
that it is apparent from this sutta that each 
individual was left free, within generous limits, to 
choose the mode of living which suited his own 
particular needs, even if it included austerities which 
Gotama neither recommended to others nor practised 
in his own person. 

In the Samanamandikd Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 22- 
29) we are told that according to Uggahamana, a 
wanderer, 1 four qualities characterise a triumphant 
recluse who has won all that is to be won. He 
does nothing evil, lie thinks nothing evil, and lie- 
gets his living in no evil way. According to the 
Buddha, however, there are ten qualities which 
make a bhikkhu a triumphant recluse who is imbued 
with the right, excels in the right, and has won all 
that is to be won. 

In the Culasakuluddyi Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 29-39) 
the Blessed One pointed out the emptiness of the 
tenets of the wanderer Sakuludayi, who had a 
vague idea of what is perfection, and spoke on the 
Four Ecstacies or rapt musings or abstractions and 
other states of consciousness while explaining the 
world of absolute bliss and the sure way to realise 
it. Sakuludayi was converted. This sutta further 

1 Fide my Historical Gleanings, p. 18. 

^ Canonical Pali Literature 143 

informs us that according to Mahavira, the four 
precepts and self-privation are the recognised roads 
to the blissful state of the soul. 

In the Vekhanassa Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 40-44) 
the Lord proves the emptiness of the tenets of the 
wanderer Vekhanassa who had a very queer idea of 
what perfection is. Vekhanassa became a lay 
disciple of the Buddha. It may be noticed here 
that Buddhaghosa says that Vekhanassa was the 
teacher of Sakuludayi. 1 

In the Ghatikara Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 45-54) the 
Blessed One spoke to Ananda on Ghatikara's (a 
potter by profession) devotion. Ghatikara 2 had a 
friend named Jotipala. Once they went together 
to Kassapa the Lord. Hearing the doctrine preached 
by the Lord himself Jotipala decided to go from 
home to homelessness as a monk. Ghatikara could 
not forsake the worldly life as he had to support 
his aged blind parents. But he in his devotion to 
the Lord Kassapa surpassed all others and he 
fulfilled the layman's duties as sanctioned by 
Buddhism. Once the Lord Kassapa was invited 
by Kiki, King of Kasi. Kassapa accepted the 
invitation and went to Kiki. The King entreated 
the Lord to spend the vassavasa in his kingdom. 
But Kassapa told the king that he had already 
promised to Ghatikara to stay at Vehalinga 
under his care. Kassapa then spoke very highly of 
Ghatikara's devotion. 

In the concluding lines Buddha identifies himself 
with Jotipala. 

In the Ratthapdla Sutta* (M.N., II, pp. 54-74) 
we find that a true bhikkhu goes from home to 

1 Lord Chalmers, ' Further Dialogues of the Buddha ', pt. II, 
p. 21 f.n. 

2 Cf. Dr. B. C. Law's ' A Stud}' of the Mahavastu', pp. 45 foil. 
8 There is a paper on the Ra^hapala Sutta by Walter Lupton, 

l.C. 8. The Pali text together with a translation is given there. 
The writer has made use of the commentary wherever necessary, 
J.R.A.S., 1894. The same story is told in practically the same 
words about Sudinna in Vinaya, III, 11-15. 

144 A History of Pali Literatun 

homelessness as a monk, when he knows, sees, and 
hears the following four propositions enumerated by 
the Master, e.g., the world is in continual flux 
and change ; the world is no protector or preserver ; 
the world owns nothing ; the world lacks and hankers 
being enslaved to craving. That cannot be called 
a true renunciation when one goes forth from home 
to homelessness as a monk, for old age, failing health, 
impoverishment, and death of kinsfolk. The gathas 
uttered by Ratthapala giving out his religious 
experience are highly interesting as being the 
prototype of the poems in the Theragatha (verses 

In the Makhddeva Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 74-83) 
we find that Makhadeva, King of Mithila, in order to 
seek pleasures celestial, renounced the world. His 
son also when he enjoyed fully worldly pleasures, 
left the worldly life. The last of three kings to 
do so was Nimi. Nimi's son Janaka broke this 
tradition. This sutta is mentioned in the Culla- 
niddesa (p. 80, Maghadeva) as one of the four earliest 
examples of Jatakas (cf. Makhadeva Jataka, Jataka, 
vol. I, No. 9). 

In the Madhura Sutta 1 (M.N., II, pp. 83-90) 
Mahakaccana speaks against the Brahmanical claims 
that they are superior to all other castes. 

In the Bodhirdjakumdra Sutta (M.N., 1 1, pp. 91- 
97) we find that in reply to Bodhi's question how 
long it would take a bhikkhu with the Truth-finder 
as his guide to win the prize of prizes, Buddha says 
that there must be aptness, in a bhikkhu, to learn. 

The Angulimala Sutta (M.N. 9 II, pp. 97-105) 
gives a vivid account of taming and conversion of 
the bandit, Angulimala by the Buddha. The gathas 
uttered by Angulimala are precisely those attributed 
to him in the Theragatha (verses 867-891). 

1 Read a paper on the Madhura Sutta concerning caste by 
Robert Chalmers. The Pali text and commentary together with a 
translation are given here. This paper reveals the Buddhist views 
of caste, J.R.A.S., 1894 ; cf. Ambattha Sutta, Digha, I, which also 
deals with the same topic. 

^Canonical P&li Literature 145 

In the Piyajatika Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 106-112) 
the Lord by references to actual facts points out 
that dear ones do bring sorrow and lamentation, 
.pain, suffering and tribulation. 

In the Bdhitika Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 112- 
117) King Pasenadi conversed with Ananda on the 
subject of right and wrong behaviour. This sutta 
teaches us that behaviour whether of act or of 
word or of thought is wrong which is blame- worthy, 
malevolent and which ripens into ill and which 
conduces to the harm either of one's self or of others 
or of both together ; and that behaviour is right 
which is divested of all these evils. 

In the Dhammacetiya Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 118- 
125) King Pasenadi commends the doctrine in 
monumental words. He says that there is always 
strife going on between kings, nobles, brahmins, and 
householders, but the bhikkhus live in peace and 
concord. There are samanas and brahmins who are 
lean miserable creatures, but the almsmen are joyous 
and joyful beings free from care and worry. 

In the Kannakatthala Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 125- 
133) Pasenadi asked the Lord about omniscience, 
about the purity of the four classes of nobles, brah- 
mins, middle-class people and peasants and about 
the supreme Brahma. The Buddha explained these 
in a manner which gladdened the king. According 
to him at one and the same time, no brahmin could 
know and see everything. He further said, " a 
malign Brahma does return to life on earth, while a 
benign Brahma does not". 

In the Brahmdyu Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 133-146) 
the Buddha convinces both the brahmin Brahmayu 
and his pupil Uttara that he possesses the thirty-two 
marks of a superman, viz., "(1) His tread is firmly 
planted ; (2) on his soles are the wheels, complete 
with a thousand spokes and with felloes and hubs ; 
(3) his heels project ; (4) his digits are long ; (5) he 
has soft hands and feet ; (6) his fingers and toes 
spring clean, without webbing between them ; (7) his 
ankles are over the exact middle of his tread ; (8) 


146 A History of Pali Literature 

his legs are like an antelope's ; (9) while standing 
bolt upright, he can, without bending, touch and 
rub his knees with both hands at once ; (10) his 
privities are within a sheath ; (11) golden of hue, 
is he ; (12) so fine is his skin's texture that no dust 
or dirt can lodge on it ; (13) each several hair on his 
body grows separate and distinct, each from its 
own individual pore ; (14) each hair starts straight, 
is blue-black like collyrium, and curls to the right 
at the tip ; (15) he is as straight as a die ; (16) his 
body shows the same convexities ; (17) his chest is 
like a lion's ; (18) his back is flat between the 
shoulders ; (19) his proportions are those of the 
banyan tree, his stretch being the same as his 
height ; (20) the curve of his shoulders is symmetrical ; 
(21) his sense of taste is consummate ; (22) he has 
the jaw of a lion ; (23) he has forty teeth ; (24) his 
teeth are all the same length ; (25) there are no 
interstices between his teeth ; (26) his teeth are 
sparkling white ; (27) his tongue is big ; (28) his 
voice is melodious as the cuckoo's note ; (29) the 
pupils of his eyes are intensely dark ; (30) his eye- 
lashes are like a cow's ; (31) between his eyebrows 
grow soft white hairs like cotton-down ; and (32) his 
head is shaped like a turban " (Lord Chalmers, 
Further Dialogues of the Buddha, Vol. II, pp. 72-73 ; 
cf. Majjhima Nikaya, Vol. II, pp. 137 foil.). 

In the Sela Sutta (M.N., II, p. 146) the brahmin 
Sela, seeing the thirty-two marks 1 in the body of the 
Buddha, took refuge in the Buddhist Triad. 

In the Assaldyana Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 147-157) 
the Buddha speaks against the brahmanical preten- 
sions that the brahmins are superior to all other 
castes. The Madhura Sutta (Majjhima) and the 
Ambattha (Dlgha) deal with the same subject. 
The importance of this sutta lies in its allusions to 

1 Cf. Visuddhimagga (P.T.S.), I, pp. 249-265; pp. 353-363; 
Paramatthajotika on the Khuddakapatha, I, pp. 41-68; 
Sammohavinodan! (Sinhalese Ed.), pp. 49-63. 

^Canonical Pali Literature 147 

Yonakamboja region where the caste-system of the 
brahmins did not prevail. 

In the Ohotamukha Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 157- 

163) Udena, a revered Buddhist monk, convinces 

Ghotamukha 1 of the inefficiency of self-torture. The 

Kandaraka Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya also deals 

with the same subject. 

In the Cankl Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 164-177) 
the Buddha condemns the brahmanical pretensions 
that the brahmins are superior to all other castes. 

In the Esukdri Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 177-184) the 
brahmin Esukari considers birth as the criterion 
of division of people. But Buddha does not 
support it. 

In the Dhdnanjdni Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 184r-196) 
we are told that the brahmin Dhananjani lacks in 
zeal for pious acts. Sariputta convinces the brahmin 
of merit of pious acts. This sutta furnishes us with 
an account of the various grades of gods, e.g., 
Catummaharajika, Tavatimsa, Yama, Tusita, 
Nimmanarati, and Paranimmitavasavattl. 2 After 
these there is the Brahmaloka. 

In the Vdsettha Sutta (M.N., II, p. 196) the 
Lord expounds to the young brahmins, Vasettha and 
Bharadvaja, as to who is a real brahmin. This 
sutta recurs in the Sutta Nipata 8 and forms the 
canonical source from which half the number of the 
verses of the Brahmanavagga in the Dhammapada 
has been derived. 

In the Subha Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 196-209) the 
Lord explains to the brahmin Subha the real union 
with Brahma. 

In the Sangdrava Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 209-213) 
we are told that the young brahmin Sangarava 

1 Such a name as Ghotamukha occurs in the Kamasutra by 
Vatsyayana. We are entitled on the authority of the Buddhist 
texts to maintain that Ghotamukha was one of the contemporaries 
of Gotama. 

2 Vide Dr. B. C. Law's * Heaven and Hell in Buddhist Perspec- 
tive', pp. 6-7. 

8 Sutta No. 9, P.T.S., p. 115. 

148 A History of Pali Literature 

hearing the exclamation of the brahmin lady 
Dhananjani in praise of the Buddha scolded her for 
paying respect to a shaveling of a recluse. Later 
on the young brahmin met the Buddha who, when 
asked by the brahmin, said that He discerned a 
Doctrine and so had by insight won the goal and 
achieved Perfection, recognising the foundations 
on which the higher life was based. It is interesting 
to notice that the Buddha in reply to Sangarava's 
question admitted that there were gods. 

With this sutta doses the middle series of fifty 

In the Devadaha Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 214-228) 
the Buddha characterises the doctrine of the 
Niganthas as fatuous. The Niganthas hold that 
whatever the individual experiences might be, all 
come from former actions. Hence, by expiation 
of former misdeeds and by not committing fresh 
misdeeds, nothing accrues for the future. 

In the Pancattaya Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 228-238) 1 
the Buddha refers to the various schools of thought. 
The various schools of thought make various 
assertions about futurity. Some assert that the 
self is conscious after death while others deny this. 
Some hold the theory of annihilation of the existing 
creature while the others do not ; Buddha does not 
support these speculations. 

In the Kinti Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 238-243) the 
Buddha admonishes the bhikkhus to school them- 
selves in the higher lore, namely, satipatthana 
(mindfulness), bala (five forces or potentialities), 
indriya (fivefold sphere of sense) and in unity and 
harmony without strife. If there be any quarrel 
between a bhikkhu and another on the Abhidhamma, 
if a bhikkhu be guilty of offence, everything should 
be settled amicably. 

In the Sdmagdma Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 243-251) 
the Buddha speaks on unity and concord. After 

1 Of. Brahmajala Sutta, Digha, I; Samyutta Nikaya, III, 
pp. 213 foil 

^Canonical Pali Literature 149 

the death of the Nigantha Nathaputta there arose 
quarrels among the disciples. Ananda knowing this 
fact referred the matter to the Master. The Master 
expounded six conciliatory things which when 
embraced and practised would lead to no strife 
among the disciples. This sutta throws some light 
on the ways in which the wandering teachers spent 
their time. 1 This sutta is regarded as a Vinaya 
tract on Adhikaranasamatha. It testifies to the 
fact that Mahavira 2 (Nigantha Nathaputta) pre- 
deceased Buddha by a few years. 

In the Sunakkhatta Sutta (M.N., II, pp. 252-261) 
we are told that Sunakkhatta enquired of the Buddha 
whether the bhikkhus professed all they had really 
won or extravagant in their professions. The 
Buddha said, " If a bhikkhu is in full control of his 
six sense-organs to see in attachments the root of 
ill, and therefore to detach himself and to find 
deliverance in removing attachments, such a bhikkhu 
cannot possibly either surrender his body or devote 
his thought to attachments ". 

In the Ananjasappdya Sutta (M.N., //, pp. 261- 
266) the Buddha speaks of what is real permanence. 
He also explains the several paths that lead to 
permanence, e.g., the subjugation of the pleasures 
of senses by developing the heart. 

With this sutta ends the second volume of the 
Majjhima Nikdya. 

In the Ganakamoggalldna Sutta (M.N., ///, 
pp. 1-7) we have an important discussion between the 
Buddha and the brahmin mathematician Moggallana. 
The discussion brings home the fact that the brah- 
manical training was a thoroughly graduated system 
(anupubbasikkha, anupubbakiriya). Although the 
Buddha claimed that the system as propounded 
by him also admitted of the idea of graduation, the 

1 Digha, I, Brahmajala Sutta, paragraph 18. 

2 See my paper on Mah&vira the last Tirthankara of the Jains 
(Oevala Navayuvaka, Mahavira No., 1932). 

150 A History of Pali Literature 

sutta makes it clear that graduation in the case of 
Buddhism was suggested duly by expediency. 

In the Oopakamoggalldna Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 7-15) it is said that there is not a single bhikkhu 
who in every respect and in every particular has 
acquired all the qualities possessed by the Buddha. 
The Lord has traced out a path and his disciples 
follow him in the path which has come down to them 
from him. 

In the Mahdpunnama Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 15- 
20) the question asked is how does the view of 
personality (sakkaya-ditthi) arise ? The answer is 
that an uninstructed ordinary man who has no 
vision of the Noble Ones and is unversed and 
untrained in the doctrine of the Noble Ones, who 
has no vision of the Exalted Ones and is unversed 
and untrained in the doctrine of the Exalted Ones 
views form as self or self as possessing form or form 
in self or self in form. He does the same with 
feeling and perception, with the constituents and 
with consciousness. This view is not supported by 
the Buddha. 

In the Culapunnama Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 20-24) 
we read that the Buddha says that a bad man is 
bad in his nature, nurtured on bad, bad in his 
thoughts, speech, doings, views, resolves and in 
distribution of alms. He further says that a good 
man is good in his nature, nurtured on good, good 
in his thoughts, aims, speech, doings, views and in 
the distribution of alms. The bhikkhus rejoiced 
in what the Buddha had said. 

In the Anupada Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 25-29) 
the Buddha praises Sariputta whose learning and 
understanding are vast. He has gone through the 
complete course of training as laid down by the 
Master. He is consummate in rolling onwards 
the peerless wheel of the doctrine which the Truth- 
finder first set a-rolling. 

In the Chabbisodhana Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 29- 
37) the Blessed One speaks of the sixfold scrutiny 
by which a bhikkhu is to know whether one is 

% Ca/nonical Pali Literature 151 

justified in saying that rebirth is no more ; that 
he has lived the highest life. A bhikkhu should 
see by what manner of ken and vision one's heart 
has been absolutely delivered from the cankers 
with regard to the domain of vision, of hearing, of 
taste, of smell, of touch, and of apprehension. 

In the Sappurisa Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 37-45) 
the Lord informs a bhikkhu about the attitude of 
the good man and of the bad man. 

In the Sewtabba-Asevitabba Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 45-61) the Lord expounds what should be 
cultivated and what should not be cultivated. 
Behaviour in act, speech, and thought is not to be 
cultivated if thereby wrong dispositions wax apace 
while right dispositions wane, but to be cultivated 
if thereby wrong dispositions wane while right 
dispositions wax apace. 

In the Bahudhdtuka Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 61-67) 
the Lord admonishes the bhikkhus to train themselves 
up to become informed by study in diverse 

In the Isigili Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 68-71) 
the Buddha relates the names of those Pacceka- 
Buddhas 1 who had long been residents on the 
Mount Isigili, one of the five hills surrounding 
Rajagaha, the capital of Magadha. 

In the Hatiacattarisaka Sutta (M.N., I II, pp. 71- 
78) the Lord expounds to the bhikkhus right 
concentration (samniasamadhi). Right views rank 

In the Anapanasati Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 78-88) 
the Lord speaks on breathing exercises. 

In the Kdyagatdsati Sutta (M.N., 1 1 1, pp. 88-99) 
the Master deals with meditation on the body how 
is mindfulness of the body cultivated and developed 
so as to abound in fruit and blessings ? In reality 

1 Individual Buddha. He is inferior to the Sammasambuddha. 
He is not omniscient. He has acquired the knowledge necessary to 
attain Nirvana but he does not preach it to men. 

152 A History of Ptili Liter aturt 

like the Anapana, the Kayagatasati Sutta is only a 
sectional presentation of the Satipatthana Sutta. 

In the Samkhdruppatti Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 99- 
103) the Buddha expounds to the bhikkhus how 
plastic forces (samkharas) arise. 

In the Culasunnata Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 104- 
109) the Lord deals with true solitude. 

In the Mahdsunnata Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 109- 
118) true solitude has been explained by the Master 
to the bhikkhus. 

In the Acchariyabbhutadhamma Sutta 1 (M.N., 
III, pp. 118-124) Ananda expounds fully the 
wonders and marvels of Truth-finder's nature. 

The Bakkula Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 124^-128) 
deals with a saint's record. Bakkula said to Acela- 
Kassapa that during his 80 years of bhikkhuhood he 
did not commit any sin. He led a life of purity. 

In the Dantabhumi Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 128- 
137) the Buddha speaks of discipline. He says it is 
impossible for one who lives in the lap of enjoyment 
and pleasure to know or see or realise what is to be 
known by renouncing worldliness. He should be 
under training if he likes to see what is to be 
attained by giving up worldliness. 

In the Bhumija Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 138-144) 
the Buddha says that right outlook is essential in 
order to win the fruits of the higher life. 

In the Anuruddha Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 144-152) 
the venerable Anuruddha explains to the carpenter 
Pancakanga what is boundless deliverance, and 
what is vast deliverance of the heart. If a bhikkhu 
dwells with radiant thoughts of love pervading all 
the quarters of the world, the whole length and 
breadth of the world, above, below, around, every- 
where this is termed the heart's deliverance that is 
boundless. If the bhikkhu pervades and imbues a 

1 See " The Nativity of the Buddha " by Chalmers dealing with 
the marvels and mysteries of the Buddha's nativity. This paper 
contains this sutta with Buddhaghosa's Commentary on it, J.R.A.S., 

* Canonical Pali Literature 153 

single tree with the idea of vastness, that is termed 
vast deliverance of the heart. Anuruddha then 
speaks on the four states of rebirth, among the 
Parittabha gods, the Appamanabha gods, the 
Sankilitthabha gods, and the Parisuddhabha gods. 

In the Upakkilesa Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 152-162) 
we are told that once there was a strife among the 
Kosambi monks. The Buddha tried to settle the 
dispute, but he failed. He then retired elsewhere. 
He admonished Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila 
to do away with the blemishes which make the 
mental reflex (nimitta) fade away. 

In the Bdla-Pandita Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 163- 
178) the Buddha speaks of men, wise and fool. 
The sutta forms a prose background of the Balavagga 
and the Panditavagga of the Dhammapada. 

In the Devaduta Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 178-187) 
the Lord speaks of Heaven's warning messengers. 
King Yama punishes those that are reported to do 
evil in the world. 

In the Bhaddekaratta Sutta, Ananda-Bhaddeka- 
ratta Sutta Mahakaccdna-Bhaddekaratta Sutta, and 
Lomasakangiya-Bhaddekaratta Sutta (M.N., II 1 9 
pp. 187-202) the Lord lays the whole emphasis 
on not having much to do with the past and the 
future but on that which concerns oneself mainly 
with what is immediately present. 

In the Cula and Mahdkammavibhanga Sutta 
(M.N., III, pp. 202-215) we find the young brahmin 
Subha Todeyyaputta asking the Buddha why is it 
that among human beings there are high and low. 
The Lord says that their deeds are their possessions 
and heritage, their parents, their kindred, and their 
refuge, and that it is their deeds which divide the 
beings into high and low. 

In the Saldyatanavibhanga Sutta (M.N., III 9 
pp. 215-222) we have an exposition of the six 
spheres of sense more or less of the Abhidhamma 
type. Indeed this sutta is the sutta counterpart 
of the Abhidhamma exposition of ayatanas in the 


154 A History of Pali Literature 

In the Uddesavibhanga Sutta (M.N., ///, pp. 223- 
229) Mahakaccana says that an almsman's thinking 
should always be so conducted that, as he thinks, 
his mind may not either be externally diffused and 
dissipated or be internally set, and that through 
non-dependence he may be imperturbed, so that, 
with his mind thus secure, birth, old age and death 
and the arising of all ill do not happen. 

In the Aranavibhanga Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 230- 
237) the Lord explains to the bhikkhus the detailed 
exposition of calm. A man should neither give 
himself over to pleasures of senses nor give himself 
over to self-mortification. He should follow the 
Noble Eightfold Path for complete deliverance. 
This sutta is essentially a philosophical discourse as 
to the judicious use of the local terms signifying 
distinct objects. 

In the Dhdtuvibhanga Sutta (M.N., II I, pp. 237- 
247) the Buddha expounds to the revered Pakkusati 
the six elements, earth, water, fire, air, space, and 
consciousness. This forms the suttanta counterpart 
of the Abhidhamma exposition of dhatus in the 

The Saccavibhanga Sutta l (M.N., III, pp. 248- 
252) corresponding to the Saccaniddesa in the 
Mahasatipatthana Sutta of the Digha Nikaya ex- 
pounds fully the four Noble Truths 2 and the Noble 
Eightfold Path. 

1 The Mahasatipatthana Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya consists 
of two parts. The first part deals with the four satipatthanas 
while the second part deals with the four Aryan Truths and the 
Noble Eightfold Path. In the Majjhima Nikaya the Satipatthana 
Sutta and the Saccavibhanga Sutta together contain what has been 
set forth in the Mahasatipatthana Suttanta. In the Satipatthaiia 
Sutta only the four satipatthanas have been explained while the 
Saccavibhanga Sutta explains only the four Aryan Truths and the 
Noble Eightfold Path. 

2 Cattari ariyasaccani, e.g. dukkha, dukkhasamudaya, 
dukkhanirodha and dukkhanirodhagaminipatipada ; ariya atthahgi- 
kamagga, e.g. sammaditthi, sammasamkappo, sarnmavaca, 
sammakammanto, samma-ajlva, sammavayama, samma sati, and 
samma samadhi, that is, right views, right thoughts, right speech, 
right action, right living, right exertion, right recollection, and 
right meditation. 

Canonical Pali Literature 155 

In the Dakkhindvibhanga Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 253-257) the Lord gives an analysis of 
almsgiving. Donations to individuals are ranked 
in fourteen grades, e.g. a Truth-finder, Arahat, 
All-Enlightened, Pacceka-Buddha, Truth-finder's 
arahat disciples, one on the way to become a 
perfected arahat, one who will never be reborn on 
earth, and so on. 

In the Andthapindikovdda Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 258-263) we are told that when Anathapindika 
became seriously ill, he sent a man to go in his 
name to the Lord and the venerable Sariputta, and 
bowing at their feet, to say how ill he was and 
how he bowed his head at the feet of the Lord and 
the venerable Sariputta. Sariputta accompanied by 
Ananda came to Anathapindika's house. Sariputta 
exhorted the householder not to be a creature of 
sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and mind. He 
should not also be a creature of the elements such 
as earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness. 
He should not be a creature of the plastic forces, 
of the Realm of Infinity of space, of the Realm of 
Naught, and of the realm of neither perception nor 
non-perception. The exhortation was over, Sari- 
putta * and Ananda rose up and departed ; nor had 
they gone long when the householder Anathapindika, 
at his body's dissolution after death, passed away to 
the Tusita heaven. 

The Channovddo Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 263-266) 
deals with Channa's suicide. Channa became 
seriously ill and was bent on committing suicide. 
Sariputta exhorted him not to do so. But Channa 
did not listen to Sariputta's exhortation and used 
the knife on himself. 

In the Punnovdda Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 267-270) 
Punna asked the Buddha how having listened to the 
Lord's doctrine, he should live alone and aloof, 

1 A leading and eloquent pupil of the school of Sanjaya, the- 
dialectician. Among debaters Sariputta was eminent and could 
get the better in any argument (Gotama the man, p. 109). 

166 A History of Pali Literature 

strenuous and purged of self. The Lord gave 
counsel to Punna. 1 

The Nandakovdda Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 270-277) 
deals with Nandaka's homily to bhikkhunis. 
Nandaka preaches to bhikkhums on the imper- 
manency of sight, forms, and six groups of perception. 

In the Culardhulovdda Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 277-280) the Lord admonishes Rahula, who is 
ripe in the qualities which mature into deliverance, 
in order to school him in the eradication of the 
cankers. He speaks of transitoriness of things 

In the Chachakka Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 280-287) 
the Lord explains to the bhikkhus the six sixes 
six internal senses (senses of hearing, sight, smell, 
taste, touch, and mind), six external sense-objects 
(forms, sounds, odours, savours, touch, mental 
objects), six groups of perceptions (sight and forms, 
hearing and sounds, smell and odours, taste and 
savours, touch and tangible objects, mind and 
mental objects), and six groups of cravings. With 
this sutta ought to have closed the third or the last 
group of fifty suttas. 

In the Mahdsaldyatanika Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 287-290) the Blessed One instructs the bhikkhus 
in the import of the six great domains of sense 
(the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, the sense 
of smelling, the sense of taste, the sense of touch, 
and the sense of comprehending). 

In the Nagaravindeyya Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 290- 
293) we are told that once the Lord went to the 
brahmin village of Nagaravinda in Kosala. The 
brahmins of Nagaravinda went to the Lord who 
spoke on the types of recluses and brahmins who 
should or should not receive honour, reverence, 
and devotion. The Lord said that those recluses 

1 He was a man of iron will, but, wilful, he willed to go his own 
way. He understood the real object of the Jhana-musing. 
More than most men he dwelt ' lokuttara * beyond this world 
(Qotama the man, p. 113). 

Canonical Pali Literature 157 

and brahmins should get honour who had shed all 
lust in connection with the six domains of sense. 

In the Pindapdtapdrisuddhi Sutta (M.N., III, 
pp. 293-297) the Master speaks of the perils of the 
daily round. 

In the Indriyabhdvand Sutta (M.N., III, pp. 298- 
302) the Lord speaks on the culture of faculties. 
The brahmanical culture of the faculties was 
according to him faulty. It is when a man neither 
sees forms with his eyes nor hears sounds with his 
ears. But according to the rule of the Noble it 
is when a bhikkhu is indifferent to something agree- 
able or disagreeable which results either from his 
seeing forms with the eyes or from his hearing sounds 
with the ears. With this sutta ends the third or the 
last volume of the Majjhima Nikdya. 


The Samyutta Nikaya is the third nikaya of 
the Sutta Pitaka. Mrs. Rhys Davids translates it 
by ' grouped suttas ' or ' the Book of the Kindred 
Sayings '. This book has been edited for the 
P.T.S., in five volumes by Leon Feer. The sixth 
volume * containing indexes has been prepared by 
Mrs. Rhys Davids. The Samyutta Nikaya has been 
translated into English by Mrs. Rhys Davids 
assisted by Suriyagoda Sumangala Thera in pt. I, 
and assisted by F. L. Woodward in pt. II, and 
in pts. Ill, IV, and V, F. L. Woodward has done 
the entire translation work. There is a German 
translation of this text by W. Geiger, Miinchen, 
1925. 2 The Sinhalese 8 and Burmese editions of 
this work are available. The Samyutta Nikaya 
consists of the following samyuttas or groups : 

1 In this volume Mrs. Rhys Davids acknowledges her indebted- 
ness to her deceased husband in quoting references given to words, 
parallel passages, etc. from her husband's annotations and dictionary 

2 Vols. I and II have been published (II first and then I), 
Sagathavagga and Nidanavagga. 

8 Samyutta Nikaya, Ed. B. Amar Sinha, Welitara, 1898. 

158 A History of Pali Literature 

Part I Sagathavagga 

1. Devata Samyutta consisting of 8 chapters. 

2. Devaputta 3 

O JVOScilcl 99 99 99 O 99 

4. Mara 3 

5. Bhikkhum 

6. Brahma ,, ,,2 

7. Brahmana 2 

8. Vangisa 

9. Vana 

10. Yakkha 

11. Sakka 

99 ^ 99 

Part II Nidanavagga 

1. Nidana Samyutta consisting of 9 chapters. 

2. Abhisamaya 

3. Dhatu 4 

4. Anamatagga 2 

5. Kassapa 

6. Labhasakkara ,, 4 ,, 

7. Rahula 2 

8. Lakkhana 2 

9. Opamma 
10. Bhikkhu 

Part III Khandhavagga 

1. Khandha Samyutta divided into three 

sections of 5 chapters each. 

2. Badha Samyutta consisting of 4 chapters. 

3. Ditthi ,,2 

4. Okkantika 

5. Uppada 

6. Kilesa 

7. Sariputta 

8. Naga 

9. Supanna 

10. Gandhabbakaya,, 

11. Valaha 

12. Vacchagotta 

13. Jhana (or Samadhi) Samyutta. 

99 99 99 ** 99 


Canonical Pali Literature 159 

Part IV Salayatanavagga 

1. Salayatana Samyutta divided into 4 sections 

of which the first three 5 chapters each 
and the last 4 chapters only. 

2. Vedana Samyutta consisting of 3 chapters. 

3. Matugama 3 

4. Jambukhadaka 

5. Samandaka 

6. Moggalana 

7. Citta 

8. Gamani 

9. Asankhata 
10. Avyakata 

Part V Mahavagga 

1. Magga Samyutta consisting of 8 chapters. 

2. Bojjhanga 18 

3. Satipatthana ,,10 

4. Indriya 17 

5. Sammappadhana 5 

6. Bala 10 

7. Iddhipada 8 

8. Anuruddha 2 

9. Jhana ,, ,, 5 

10. Anapana 2 

11. Sotapatti 7 

12. Sacca ,,11 

The Samyutta Nikaya is a compilation of 
suttas with their main bearings on psycho-ethical 
and philosophical problems. In the preface to the 
Book of the Kindred Sayings, Part I (pp. V-VIII), 
Mrs. Rhys Davids says that these are concise prose 
discourses contained for the most part in the volumes 
numbered II, III, and IV, of the Pali Text Society's 
edition. She further observes that the mass of 
these little suttas, slight and concise sketches, with 
the verses which sum them up, or which they, the 
suttas, explain many of them very poor poetry 
as such dealing with legends of fairies, gods, and 
devils, with royal and priestly interviewers of the 


160 A History of Pali Literature 

sublime teacher, may seem a tantalising jungle to 
the traveller bound for the hills of thought more 
austere. But let him enter with open mind and 
sympathetic imagination awake. So will he wander 
not unrewarded. He will find himself for the 
most part in a woodland of faerie, opening out 
here on a settlement of religious brethren, there on 
scenes of life in rural communities such as might well 
be met in the India of to-day, or indeed in other 
countries. Mythical and folk-lore drapery are 
wrapped about many of the sayings here ascribed 
to the Buddha. Nevertheless, the matter of them 
is of the stamp of the oldest doctrine known to us, 
and from them a fairly complete synopsis of the 
ancient dhamma might be compiled. And short 
and terse as are the presentations of both saying 
and episode, they contribute not a little to body out 
our somewhat vague outline of India's greatest son, 
so that we receive successive impressions of his 
great good sense, his willingness to adapt his sayings 
to the individual inquirer, his keen intuition, his 
humour and smiling irony, his courage and dignity, 
his catholic and tender compassion for all creatures. 

It may be interesting to give below a gist of 
all the samyuttas. 

In the Devatd Samyutta 1 (S.N., /, pp. 1-45) 

1 Cf. Samyutta Nikaya, I, p. 3 

" Accent! kala tarayanti rattiyo, 
vayoguna anupubbam jahanti, 
etam bhayam marane pekkhamano 
punnani kayiratha sukhavahanlti." 

The repetition of the first two lines with varying conclusion 
in Jataka, IV, p. 487. 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, 7 

"Nidda tandi vijambhika, aratl bhattasammado, 
etena nappakasati, ariyamaggo idha paninan-ti." 

The first two lines occur in Jataka, VI, 57. 

Cf. also Vibhanga, 352, cited by Buddhaghosa and Samyutta 
Nikaya, V, 64 ; Anguttara Nikaya, I, 3. 

Cf. Samyutta Nikaya, I, pp. 8-9 

" Abhutva bhikkhasi bhikkhu, na hi bhutvana bhikkhasi, 
bhutvana bhikkhu bhikkhassu, ma tarn kalo upaccagati kalam 
vo-ham na janami, channo kalo na dissati, tasma abhutva bhikkhami, 
ma mam kalo upaccagati." 

Canonical Pali Literature 161 

certain devatas or gods put some questions to the 
Blessed One and the latter explains the same 
clearly. He gives an enigmatic reply to the ques- 
tion how he has put an end to the fourfold wave 
of craving for sensual joys, rebirth, erroneous 
opinions, and ignorance-begotten desires. He also 

These verses are verbatim those in the Samiddhi Jataka 
(Vol. II, pp. 57-58). The story is the same, the diction a little 
different. The devata in the Nikaya is shown in the Jataka to 
be a deva-dhita or goddess. 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, p. 11. 

" Akkheyyasafmino satta, akkheyyasmim patit^hita, 

akkheyyam aparinfiaya, yogam ayanti maccuno 

akkheyyan ca parinnaya, akkhataram na mannati 

tarn hi tassa na hotiti, yena narh vajja na tassa atthi." 

The verses occur in the Itivuttaka 63, the last two lines are 

quite different, 

Samyutta Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 13. 

" Yo appadu^thassa narassa dussati, 
suddhassa posassa ananganassa, 
tarn eva balam pacceti papam, 
sukhumo rajo pativatarh va khitto-ti." 

These lines occur in the Dhammapada, vorse 125. 
Samyutta Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 19. 

"Duddadarh dadamananam, dukkaram kamma kubbatam 
asanto iianukubbanti, satam dhammo durannayo 
tasma satanca asatafica, nana hoti ito gati 
asanto nirayam yanti, santo saggaparayana ti." 

This gatha is that of the Duddada (hard to give), Jataka 
No. 180. All the verses occur in the Bilarikosiya Jataka, No. 450. 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, 20-21 

" Sadhu kho marisa danam, 
Appasmirh pi sadhu danam, 
Saddhaya pi sadhu danam 
Dhammaladdhassa pi sadhu danam 
Api ca viceyyadanam pi sadhu, 
Yo panabhutesu ahe^hayarh caram 
parupavada na koroti papam, 
bhirum pasamsanti na hi tattha suram, 
bhaya hi santo na karonti papan-ti." 
" Sadhu kho marisa danam 
Appasmim pi sadhu danam 
Api ca saddhaya pi sadhu danam, 
Danafica yuddliailca samanam ahu, 
Appapi santa bahuke jinanti 
Appam pi ce saddahano dadati, 
ten-eva so hoti sukhi parattha ti," 

The fresh matter in the two gathas occurs in the Aditta Jataka, 
(III, 472). 


162 A History of Pali Literature 

explains how one can attain deliverance from sin 
and detachment from misery and sorrow by doing 
away with lust and the five khandhas or aggregates. 

In the Devaputta Samyutta (S.N., pt. I, pp. 46- 
67) we find that certain devaputtas or sons of the 
gods put some questions to the Great Buddha and 
the latter explains these to their full satisfaction. 
Thus the Buddha says that one should give up wrath 
if one wishes to be happy in life, and should keep 
company with good men. 

The whole of the Kosala Samyutta^ (S.N., I, 
pp. 68-102) is devoted to Pasenadi, King of Kosala. 
Some twenty-five anecdotes are told of him. He 
was at first a Hindu and the Brahmin Bavari was 
his preceptor. This is evident from the fact that a 
great sacrifice was arranged to be held for the 
king. But later on he became an ardent supporter 
of the Buddha. We are told that there broke out a 
war between Ajatasattu, King of Magadha, and 
Pasenadi, King of Kosala, nephew and uncle, for the 
possession of the township of Kasi. At first victory 
inclined to Ajatasattu. But later on he was defeated 
and taken prisoner. Pasenadi, however, married 
his daughter, Vajira, to Ajatasattu and made over 
the township of Kasi to his son-in-law as a pin 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, 22. 

" Na te kama yani citrani loke, 
Sankapparago purisassa kamo, 
titthanti citrani tath-eva loke, 
ath-ettha dhira vinayanti chandam." 

This gatha in the Ahguttara Nikaya, III, 411, is ascribed 
to the Buddha and is quoted in the Kathavatthu. It is also 
quoted with variations in our commentary with reference to the 
Pasura sutta in the Sutta Nipata. 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, 23. 

" Kodham jahe vippajaheyya manam." 

This line occurs in Dhammapada, 221. 

Samyutta Nikaya, I, 25. 

The Samayo sutta is verbatim the opening part of the 
Mahasamaya (or the great concourse) suttanta of the Digha Nikaya, 
II, 253 f. (Dialogues, II, 282 f.). 

1 Read Sage and King in Kosala Samyutta by Mrs. Rhys 
Davids (R. G. Bhandarkar Commemoration Vol., pp. 133-138). 

Canonical Pali Literature 163 

The Mara Samyutta (S.N., pt. I, 103-127) deals 
with the Buddha's encounter with Mara, the Evil 
One. When the Buddha obtained Enlightenment, 
Mara tried every means so that the Master might 
give up the holy life. Desirous of making the 
Exalted One feel dread and horror, he turned 
himself into the likeness of a king-elephant, assumed 
the mighty appearance of a king of the snakes, 
and drew near to the Blessed One. Standing on the 
crest of the hill, he hurled huge rocks which fell 
incessantly, crushing against each other. He urged 
the householders of Pancasala not to give alms 
to Gotama the recluse. But his attempts were all in 
vain. These could not prevent the Blessed One 
and his followers from leading a pious life. 

In the Bhikkhum Samyutta (S.N., pt. I, pp. 128- 
135) we find that Mara, the Evil One, tried to desist 
Gotami, Uppalavanna, Vajira, and certain other 
Bhikkhums from following the path laid down by 
the Blessed One. But those sisters recognised 
Mara, and the latter went away sorrowful. 

In the Brahma Samyutta (S.N., pt. I, pp. ISO- 
ISO) Brahma persuaded the Buddha to preach the 
doctrine. After reaching perfect Enlightenment the 
Buddha did not wish to preach the Norm, for 
others might not acknowledge him. Out of com- 
passion for the worldly beings Brahma Sahampati 
entreated the Blessed One to preach the Doctrine 
by following which people might not suffer from the 
sorrows of the world. After much deliberation the 
Lord acceded to the request of Brahma. 

In the Brdhmana Samyutta (S.N. 9 /, pp. 160-184) 
we find the conversions of Bharadvaja brahmin and 
some other brahmanas of Bharadvaja gotta. The 
wife of the Bharadvaja brahmin, a Dhananjani 
brahman!, was a follower of the Buddha. Tired 
of the proclamation of her faith in the Buddhist 
Triad, Bharadvaja once went to see the Buddha. 
He was so much impressed by the discourses of the 
Buddha that he forthwith left the world and took 
refuge in the Buddha. Following him other 


164 A History of Pali Literature 

brahmins of the Bharadvaja gotta also became 
followers of the Buddha. 

The Vangisa Samyutta (S.N., I, pp. 185-196) 
deals with how the thera Vangisa quelled his passion. 
Once, while a novice, he was staying near Alavi 
at the chief temple of that place, together with his 
tutor, the venerable Nigrodha-kappa. Then a 
number of women, gaily adorned, came to see the 
vihara. At the first sight of the women, discontent 
arose in him and lust harassed his heart. But he 
saw the evils and himself got rid of his disaffection. 

The Vana Samyutta (S.N., /, pp. 197-205) deals 
with how certain forest deities put some bhikkhus, 
who transgressed the Law, on the right path. A 
certain bhikkhu was once staying among the Kosalans 
in a certain forest tract. But he indulged in wrong 
and evil thoughts connected with worldly matters. 
Then a deva who haunted the forest, out of com- 
passion for the brother, admonished him to give 
up the wrong path. The sutta also speaks of other 
bhikkhus who were also set on the right path by 
the forest deities. 

In the Yakkha Samyutta (S.N., I, pp. 206-215) 
we read that the Blessed One dwelt in the house of 
Yakkha Indaka in the Indakuta mountain. He 
spoke to the Buddha thus, "Form is not living 
principle in the opinion of the Buddhas. How does 
the soul possess this body ? Whence to soul does 
come the lump of bones and liver ? How does this 
soul hide within the belly ? " The Buddha answered 
thus, "At first the Kalala takes birth and thence 
the abbuda and so forth ". 

A yakkha named Sakka approached the Buddha 
while he was dwelling in the Gijjhakuta mountain 
and addressed him thus, " A monk is free from all 
ties, is one who instructs others in the dhamma. 
He who instructs others in the dhamma with a 
compassionate mind is in no way bound, compassion 
moves him and sympathy ". 

A yakkha named Suciloma spoke to the Blessed 
One, " Don't be afraid, oh Samana ". The Lord 

^Canonical Pali Literature 165 

answered, " I am not afraid, contact with you is 
sinful ". The Yakkha put the following questions to 
him, " Say, wherefore passion and hatred are caused, 
discontentment, delight, and terror whence have 
they come, wherefrom spring thoughts into the 
mind ". The Blessed one answered, " They who know 
self and wherefrom it rises, they crush it down, 
listen to me, O yakkha, they cross this flood which 
is difficult to be crossed ; so they may never come 
back again to rebirth ". 

A yakkha named Manibhadda addressed the 
Blessed One thus while he was dwelling in his house, 
" Luck always comes to him whose mind is alert, 
he prospers with increasing happiness. To-morrow 
is a better day for him and he is free from enmity ". 
The Exalted One answered him by repeating the 
first three lines and pointed out to him, " For him 
whose mind ever by night and day is given up to 
hatred, is not released from all hate ; he who takes 
delight in harmlessiiess and kindness, bearing his 
share in love for all that lives, in him no hate is 

The Exalted One was once staying at Savatthl 
in the Jetavana grove of Anathapindaka. A child 
named Sanu of a certain lay female devotee was 
possessed by a yakkha. Mother uttered some verses 
in lamentation saying that she has kept the fast, 
firm in the eight precepts, the extra fast and so 
forth. The demon in possession of Sanu said thus, 
"On the 14th and 15th day and on the 8th of either 
half of the month who keep the fast, firm in the eight 
precepts, the extra fast and so forth, with such the 
demons make no cruel sport ". The child Sanu 1 said 
thus, " Mother, they weep for the dead or the living 
whom they cannot see, but O mother ! why are you 
mourning for him, who is here and alive". The 
mother answered, " They mourn for the dead son or 
the living son whom they cannot see. They also 

1 Cf . Psalms of the Brethren pp. 48-49 ; Dhammapada Com- 
mentary, IV, pp. 18 foil. 

166 A History of Pali Literature 

mourn for him who has renounced the world." The 
mother requested her son to come back again. 

A yakkhini known as Piyankara's mother 
satisfied her son by saying " Make no noise, 
Piyankara ! The monk is uttering holy words. If 
we can hear and learn those holy words and practise 
them, it will be for our good. If we can knowingly 
utter no lies, train ourselves to do the things we 
ought to do, we may be spared from this demon 

A yakkhini named Punabbasu's mother satisfied 
her little children thus, " Oh silence little Uttara ! 
Be still Punabbasu that I may hear the Norm 
taught by the master. Nibbana is the deliverance 
from every tie and for that truth my love is passing 
great. One's own son is dear in this world and 
dear is also one's own husband ; dearer still than 
these is the path of Dhamma. Neither child nor 
husband can save us from suffering as by hearing 
the true law living beings are saved from suffering r '. 
Punabbasu remained silent and so also Uttara. 

A yakkha named Sivaka himself invisible caused 
a sound to be heard, "A hundred elephants and 
horses and a hundred chariots drawn by mules, a 
hundred thousand maidens adorned with rings in 
their ears all are not worth the 16th fraction of a 
single stride. Advance, householder, go forward ! 
(abhikkama gahapati), advance for you is better 
than retreat." As soon as this sound was heard 
darkness vanished to Anathapindika, all this happen- 
ed a second and a third time, then Anathapindika 
approached the Lord who said thus, " A Brahmana 
after having reached parinibbana always takes rest 
in happiness, who does not cleave to sensual pleasure, 
calm and devoid of substance. After cutting out 
all roots of attachment and subduing the pain of 
the heart, calm and serene, he takes rest happily 
for in his mind he has attained peace ". 

A yakkha enthusiastic about a bhikkhuni named 
Sukka went to Bajagaha going from chariot road to 
chariot road, from cross ways to cross ways and 

Canonical Pali Literature 167 

spoke about the path leading to nibbana. 1 The 
Buddha was once staying at Rajagaha in the Bamboo 
grove at Veluvana. A certain lay follower then 
gave food to another bhikkhum of the same name 
Sukka. A yakkha enthusiastic about her went to 
Rajagaha and spoke that the lay man had ac- 
cumulated much merit by supplying the wants of 
Sukka who was free from all bonds. 

A lay follower gave food to a bhikkhum named 
Vira or Cira. A yakkha enthusiastic about her 
said that a lay follower had accumulated much 
merit by supplying her wants. The Blessed One 
was once staying in the house of a yakkha named 
Alavaka. The yakkha said to him, " Get out, 
O Monk ! " The Exalted One obeyed his command. 
The yakkha again asked him to come in and the 
Exalted One came in. Thus the yakkha ordered the 
Exalted One a second and a third time and each 
time the Master complied. 

The yakkha again said to him, " Come out " 
This time the Master refused to do so. The yakkha 
said thus, " I will ask you, O Monk ! a question. If 
you will not answer I will either derange your mind 
or split your heart or take you by the feet and throw 
you over the Ganges ". The Buddha told him thus, 
" I find no one in the whole world who is able to do 
any one of these things to me. Ask according 
to your desire ". The Blessed One in answer to the 
yakkha said, " Fate is the best wealth that a man 
can have ; right deeds well-performed bring happiness. 
Life lived by wisdom is the best." The Blessed One 
further answered the questions put to him thus, " By 
faith you can easily pass over the flood ; by zeal you 
can pass over the watery waste ; by energy you can 
overcome ill and woe ; by wisdom you can win 
utter purity." The Exalted One further said, " He 
who believes in the Dhamma of the Arahants, 

1 See my paper on Nirvana and Buddhist laymen (Annals of 
the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, vol. xiv, pts. I -II, 
pp. 80-86). 

168 A History of Pali Literalum 

leading to Nibbana, being ardent and skilful, acquires 
wisdom. A fit person who bears the burden obtains 
riches with vigour, he wins fame by speaking truth, 
he binds friends by gift. Thus he will not suffer 
in this world and in the next. He who seeks the 
life of a believer and who has these four : truth, 
self-control, patience, and self-sacrifice, will not suffer 
in this world and in the next." The yakkha became 
very much pleased with the Buddha and said, " I 
will now travel from village to village, and from 
town to town, paying reverence to the Exalted One 
and to the seemly Order of the Norm (Dhammassa 
Sudhammatam) preached by the Buddha ". 

In the Sakka Samyutta (S.N., /, pp. 216-240) 
we find that the Blessed One told the bhikkhus 
how Sakka became king of the world of the thirty- 
three gods by meritorious acts. Once there broke 
out a war between the gods and the asuras. The 
asuras were defeated and their ruler Vepacitti was 
taken prisoner. Vepacitti, when brought before 
Sakka, reviled the latter and withdrew with coarse 
words. But Sakka knowing the ruler of the asuras 
to be a fool did not do any harm to him and patiently 
forebore the insult. In this way various other 
qualities of Sakka are narrated in this Samyutta. 

In the Niddna Samyutta (S.N., pt. II, pp. 1-133) 
we find that the Blessed One explained to the 
bhikkhus the chain of causation which begins with 
avijja or ignorance and ends with birth, old age, 
and death leading to grief, lamentation, suffering, 
sorrow, and despair ; the four sustenances (material 
food, contact, volition, and consciousness) and the 
bases of knowledge (knowledge that decay-and-death 
is conditioned by birth, knowledge that where 
birth is not there is no decay-and-death, etc. ; 
knowledge in the nature of decay-and-death, in its 
uprising, its ceasing, and in the way leading to its 
ceasing, knowledge in the nature of birth, becoming, 
grasping, craving, feeling, contact, sense, etc. ; 
knowledge in the uprising and ceasing of each, and 
knowledge in the way leading to their ceasing). 

* Canonical Pali Literature 169 

In the Abhisamaya Samyutta l (S.N., II, pp. 133- 
139) the Blessed One says that for the Ariyan 
disciple it is the greater ill to think that little is the 
ill that remains when measured with the former 
ill which for him is wholly perished. So he should 
not cease to strive to put an end to little ill that 
still remains, otherwise he cannot be said to have a 
perfect vision. 

In the Dhdtu Samyutta (S.N., II, pp. 140-177) 
the Lord speaks on the dhatus or elements. In 
explaining the diversity in elements he speaks of 
the elements of eye, of visible object, of eye- 
awareness ; the elements of ear, of sound, of ear- 
awareness ; the elements of nose, of odour, of nose- 
awareness ; the elements of tongue, of taste, of 
tongue-awareness ; the elements of body, of tangibles, 
of body-awareness ; the elements of mind, of ideas, 
of mind-awareness ; the radiant-element (revealed 
through darkness) ; the beauty-element (revealed 
through ugliness) ; the space-infimty-element (re- 
vealed through visible object), etc. He further 
says that because of the diversity in elements, 
arises diversity of contact from which arises diversity 
of feeling. 

In the Anamatagga Samyutta (S.N., II, pp. 178- 
193), Buddha says that the beginning of one who is 
fairing on, cloaked in ignorance and tied to craving, 
cannot be known. 

In the Kassapa Samyutta (S.N., //, pp. 194-225) 
the venerable Kassapa is praised for his contentment. 
He is content with no matter what robe, with no 
matter what alms, with no matter what lodging, 
with no matter what store of medicines. He is 
comparable to the moon when he goes among the 
families, drawing back in both heart and demeanour, 
even as a new-comer he is unobtrusive among the 

1 Cf. Samyutta, II, 134 * Sattakkhattum paramata ' cf. Points 
of Controversy, 77,268; Samyutta, V, 458; Anguttara, I, 233 f. 
The commentary explains as * a measure of seven lives (bhava) 
or rebirths '. 

170 A History of Pali Literatufo 

families. The Blessed One then exhorts the bhikkhus 
to be like Kassapa. 

In the Ldbhasakkdra Samyutta (S.N., II, pp. 225- 
244) Buddha says that just as a fish swallowing the 
fisherman's hook falls into misfortune so also the 
bhikkhus are liable to misfortune if they seek after 
gain and favour. 

In the Rahula Samyutta (8.N., II, pp. 244-253) 
the Blessed One speaks to Rahula on the subject of 
discipline. Sight, hearing, smelling, taste, touch, 
and mind all these are fleeting and so unhappy. 
So that which is fleeting, unhappy and changeable, 
it is not fit to consider that as ' This is mine ', ' This 
I am', 'This is my spirit'. One should not have 
notions of an ' I ', nor of ' mine ', nor an insidious 
tendency to vain conceits in the matter of this 
body with its mind. He who fully understands all 
these, is really at peace. 

In the Lakkhana Samyutta (S.N., II, pp. 254- 
262) we read that the venerable Lakkliana enquired 
of Maha-Moggallana why he laughed while Lakkliana 
and Moggallana were wandering about seeking alms 
and Moggallana explained these to Lakkliana and 
the other bhikkhus assembled in the presence of 
the Blessed One. 

In the Opamma Samyutta (S.N., II, pp. 262-272) 
the Lord says that all sinful acts may be traced to 
avijja or ignorance. According to him all wrong 
states have their origin in ignorance. The Blessed 
One also exhorts the bhikkhus to be strenuous 
and zealous in energy, otherwise to them, Mara, 
the Evil One, will gain access, just as Ajatasattu 
will get occasion to overthrow the Licchavis when 
they will not be strenuous and zealous in their 

In the Bhikkhu Samyutta 1 (S.N., II, pp. 273-286) 
we find Maha-Moggailana explaining to the bhikkhus 
that which is called ' Aryan silence ' which is enjoyed 

1 Cf. Samyutta Nikaya, II, 278- 
' Maram savahananti ' 

% Canonical Pali Literature 171 

by one who resides in the second jhana. Among 
other things we also find the Buddha addressing 
Nanda and Tissa and other monks to follow the 
bhikkhu life strictly as laid down by him. 

The Khandha Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 1-188) 
deals with the five Khandhas or constituent elements. 
Those who are unskilled in the Aryan doctrine are 
possessed of the ideas ' body is mine ', ' feeling is 
mine ', ' perception is mine,' ' consciousness is mine ', 
and regard activities as the self and the self as 
having activities, etc. When these five Khandhas 
or constituent elements change owing to their 
unstable and changeful nature, then sorrow and 
despair arise in them. But to him who is well 
trained in the Aryan doctrine, such a state of thing 
does not happen. The Blessed One also deals with 
the seven points. A brother who is skilled in these 
points is called ' accomplished in this Norm and 
Discipline '. The seven points are : a brother fully 
knows his body, the arising of the body, the ceasing 
of the body, and the way leading to the ceasing 
of the body ; he fully knows the satisfaction there 
is in the body, the misery that is in the body, -and 
the escape from the body. He fully knows feeling 
in like manner, and perception, the confections, 
and consciousness. The Lord further says that he 
who clings to the five Khandhas is a Mara's bonds- 
man ; but he who does not, is released from the evil 
one. The perceiving of impermanence, if practised 
and enlarged, wears out all sensual lust, all lust of 
rebirth, all ignorance wears out, and tears out all 
conceit of ' I am '. But in what way does it so 
wear them out ? By seeing, 4 such is body ; such 

Cf. Dhammapada, verse 175 ; 

Samyutta Nikaya, II, 284 

' Diva tapati adicco|| rattim abhati candimaij 
Sannaddho khattiyo tapati || jhayi tapati brahmano |! 
Atha sabbamahorattim || Buddho tapati tejasati |j ' 

cf. Dhammapada, verse 387 

' Khattiyo seftho j ane tasmim || ye gottapatisarino 
vijjacarana sajnpanno || so setiho devamanuse || * 

cf. Digha Nikaya, III, p. 98, Aggafiiia Suttanta. 

172 A History of Pali Literaturk 

is the arising of the body; such is the ceasing of 
the body, such is feeling, such is perception, and such 
are the confections '. 

In the Rddha Samyutta (S.N., HI, pp. 188-201) 
the Buddha replies to the questions asked by the 
venerable Radha on some parts of the teachings of 
the Lord. He explains (1) Mara by saying that 
where a body is, there would be Mara or things 
of the nature of Mara, or at any rate what is perish- 
ing ; (2) a being by saying that craving which is 
concerned with body, with feeling, with perception, 
with confections, and with consciousness is entangled 
thereby, therefore is one called a being ; and (3) 
impermanence by saying that body is impermanent, 
feeling is impermanent, and so are perception, 
confections, and consciousness. 

The Ditthi Samyutta (S.N., 111, pp. 202-224) 
explains the origin of certain views. Buddha says 
that by clinging to body, feeling, perception, con- 
fections, and consciousness (that is to say, the five 
Khandhas) arise such views as these : "All are stable 
or permanent ; this is mine ; this am I ; this is the 
self of me ; there is no fruit of good or evil deeds ; 
this world is not, the world beyond is not, and the 
heretical views the world is limited or unlimited, 
the identity or non-identity of the life and the 
body. 1 But the five Khandhas are impermanent 
and woeful. When an Aryan disciple fully knows 
this and also when for him doubt as to suffering is 
put away, doubt as to the arising of suffering, 
cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the 
cessation of suffering is put away this is how an 
Aryan disciple is saved from disaster, and bound for 

In the Okkantika Samyutta (S.N., ///, pp. 225- 
228) the Exalted One says that such a person is 
called " walker in faith " who has faith and con- 
fidence in the doctrine that the eye, the ear, the nose, 

Cf. Majjhima Nikaya, I, pp. 157, 426. 

Canonical Pali Literature 173 

the tongue, the body, and the mind are impermanent 
and changeable. 

In the Uppdda Samyutta (S.N., HI, pp. 228-231) 
the Buddha says that the arising of eye, ear, nose, 
tongue, body, and mind, is the arising of suffering, 
diseases, decay, and death. 

The Kilesa Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 232-234) 
deals with the kilesas or sins. The desire that is 
in the eye and in material object in the ear and in 
the sounds, in the nose and in scents, in the tongue 
and in savours, in the body and in the tangibles, 
and in the mind and in things, is a corruption of 
the heart. The desire that is in eye-consciousness 
and in consciousness that comes by ear, nose, tongue, 
body, and mind, in eye-contact with the other sense- 
organs and mind, and in consciousness of visible 
shape, sound, scent, savour, tangibles, and things, 
is a corruption of the heart. 

In the Sdriputta Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 235- 
240) the venerable Sariputta in reply to Ananda's 
question says that his senses have been calmed 
because he has dwelt aloof from passions, with his 
thought applied and sustained in first jhana, which 
is born of solitude and full of zest and happiness 
and that he has also given up the vain idea of ' I ' 
and ' mine '. 

In the Ndga Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 240-246) 
the Lord says that there are the four sorts of birth 
as nagas, viz. the egg-born, the womb-born, the 
sweat-born, and those born with parents. 

In the Supanna Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 246- 
249) the Buddha says that there are the four sorts 
of rebirth as harpies, viz. the egg-born, the womb- 
born, the sweat-born, and those born without parents. 

In the Gandhabbakdya Samyutta (S.N., III, 
pp. 249-253) the Lord speaks to the bhikkhus about 
the devas belonging to the Gandhabba grouj 
He says that they are those devas who dwell., 
the fragrance of root-wood, heart-wood, pith, 
sap and in that of leaves, flowers, and scents. 

174 A History of Pali Literature 

In the Valdha Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 254-257) 
the Exalted One speaks about devas that belong to 
cloud-groups (valahaka-kayika). He says that there 
are devas (embodied) in cool clouds, hot clouds, 
thunder clouds, wind clouds, and rain clouds. 

In the Vacchagotta Samyutta (S.N., III, pp. 257- 
263) the Buddha speaks to Vacchagotta, a wanderer, 
who holds the heretical views which have been 
condemned by the Lord in the Brahmajala Sutta of 
the Digha Nikaya, Vol. I. Vacchagotta enquires 
of the Blessed One of the cause of the origin of these 
diverse opinions which arise in the world, e.g. 
the world is eternal or non-eternal, finite or infinite, 
the identity or the non-identity of the life and 
the body, etc. The Buddha says that it is through 
ignorance of the five khandhas (rupa or form, vedana 
or feeling, sanfia or perception, samkhara or confec- 
tions, and vinnana or consciousness) that these 
diverse opinions arise in the world. 

In the Jhdna (or Samddhi) Samyutta (S.N., 
III, pp. 263-279) the Bhagava says that there are 
these four who practise the jhanas or rapt musings 
or abstractions : one who practises meditation is 
skilled in concentration, but is not skilled in the 
attainment thereof ; one who practises meditation 
is skilled in the attainment of concentration itself ; 
one who practises meditation is neither skilled in 
concentration nor skilled in the attainment thereof ; 
and one who practises meditation is skilled both 
in concentration and in the fruits thereof. Of the 
four, the last one is the best and most pre-eminent. 
In the Saldyatana Samyutta 1 (S.N., IV, pp. 1-204) 
the Blessed One speaks of the six senses. The 
Buddha says that the eye and the objects of sight, 
the ear and the sounds, the nose and the scents, 
the tongue and the savours, the body and the 
things tangible, the mind and the mind states, are 

1 The account of Punna in this Samyutta is found almost word 
for word in the Sanskrit version of Purna in the Divyavadana, 
pp. 24 foil 

Canonical Pali Literature 175 

all impermanent, ill, and void of the self. But 
there is the way of escape from these. This is the 
restraint of desire and lust, the renouncing of 
desire and lust which are in the eye, etc. Where 
there is no desire, there is no ill. He further says 
that by seeing the six senses as impermanent, as 
fetters, and as asavas, ignorance is vanished and 
knowledge arises, fetters are abandoned and asavas 
or sins are uprooted. He also explains c the world * 
by saying what is transitory by nature is called the 
world. In this connection the Lord also characterises 
the eye and the objects of sight, the ear and the 
sounds, etc. as transitory. According to him passion 
is a disease and one can abide passionless by not 
imagining ' I have an eye ', etc. One should not 
be enamoured of the object cognisable by the 
eye, etc. If one is so, then one is called restrained. 
If one is not so, then one is said to have lack of 

The Vedand Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 204-238) 
deals with the three vedanas or feelings : feeling that 
is pleasant, feeling that is painful, and feeling that 
is neither pleasant nor painful. The lurking ten- 
dency, to lust for pleasant feeling, to repugnance 
for painful feeling, and to ignorance of feeling that is 
neither pleasant nor painful, must be abandoned. 
Pleasant feelings should be regarded as ill, painful 
feelings as a barb, and neutral feelings as imper- 
manence. So all these should be abandoned. This 
abandonment in a bhikkhu is called ' rightly seeing '. 

The Mdtugdma Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 238-251) 
deals with the womankind. A woman, if she is 
beauteous in form, possessed of wealth, moral, 
vigorous, and gets offspring, is altogether charming 
to a man. If she does not possess these five qualities 
she is without charm for a man. There are five 
special woes which a woman has to undergo as 
apart from a man. They are : a woman at a tender 
age goes to her husband's family and leaves her 
relatives behind, she is subject to pregnancy, she 
has to bring forth, and she has to wait upon a man. 

176 A History of Pali Literature 

Possessed of five things a woman is reborn in purga- 
tory, if she is faithless, shameless, unscrupulous, 
wrathful, and of weak wisdom. A woman is also 
reborn in the heavenly world, if she is faithful, 
modest, scrupulous, not wrathful, rich in wisdom, 
not envious, not an adulteress, moral, and of wide 

In the Jambukhddaka Samyutta 1 (S.N., IV, 
pp. 251-261) we find Sariputta explaining to 
Jambukhadaka Paribbajaka some of the fundamental 
teachings of the Buddha. Nibbana and arahatship 
have been described as the destruction of lust, of 
hatred, and illusion, and the path leading to the 
attainment of nibbana and arahatship is the 
Noble Eightfold Path (right view, aim, speech, 
action, living effort, mindfulness, and concentration). 
They who have completely given up lust, hatred, 
and illusion, are well-practised and happy ones in 
the world. It is for the comprehension of ill that the 
righteous life is lived under Gotama the recluse. 
There are three kinds of feelings (pleasant, painful, 
and neutral) and three kinds of asavas (sensuality, 
becoming, and ignorance). The Aryan Eightfold 
Path is the only way to the comprehension of these 
feelings and to the abandonment of these asavas. 

In the Sdmandaka Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 261- 
262) the venerable Sariputta explains to Samandaka, 
the wanderer, the term ' nibbana '. Sariputta says 
that nibbana is the destruction of lust, hatred, and 
illusion, and that nibbana can be attained by 
following the Noble Eightfold Path. 

In the Moggalldna Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 262- 
281) the venerable Moggallana explains to the 
bhikkhus who have assembled the four jhanas 
or rapt musings. He also explains to them ' the 
realm of infinite space ', ' the realm of infinite 

1 Read ' Buddhist Nirvana and the Noble Eightfold Path* 
by O. Frankfurter, J.R.A.S., 'New Series, Vol. XII, 1880. This 
paper is also devoted to the study of the contents of the 
Jambukhadaka Samyutta, Samancjaka Samyutta, and Asankhata 

^Canonical Pali Literature 177 

consciousness ', ' the realm of nothingness ', 'the realm 
of neither perceiving nor non-perceiving ' and the 
unconditioned heart's rapture (animitta ceto- 

In the Cilia Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 281-304) 
the house-father explains to the bhikkhus that the 
fetter and the things that tend to fetter are different 
both in spirit and in letter. The eye is not a fetter 
of objects, nor objects a fetter to the eye. But the 
desire and lust that arise owing to the pair of them 
constitute the fetter. The same applies to ear 
and sound, nose and scents, tongue and savours, 
and mind and mind states. 

In the Gdmani Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 305-359) 
the Blessed One explains why one is called ' wrathful ' 
and one is styled ' kindly '. In the first case a 
certain man's passion is not abandoned owing to 
the fact that others harass him. Harassed by 
others he shows vexation. Thus he is styled 
' wrathful '. In the second case a certain man's 
passion is abandoned, owing to that others do not 
harass him. Unharassed by others he shows no 
vexation. Thus he is styled ' kindly '. The Blessed 
One also exhorts the headman of the village to 
follow the middle path by giving up the two extremes 
devotion to the pleasures of senses and devotion 
to self -mortification. 

In the Asankhata Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 359- 
373) the Blessed One says about the uncreated 
(nibbanam) and the path leading to it. He inter- 
prets it by saying that nibbana is the destruction of 
lust, hatred, and delusion. According to him, 
mindfumess, calm and insight, the four best efforts 
(satipatthaiia), the four bases of effective power 
(iddhipada), and the Noble Eightfold Path are the 
means to the attainment of nibbana. 1 

In the Avydkata Samyutta (S.N., IV, pp. 374- 
403) we find that once King Paseiiadi asks Khema 
the following questions : Does the Tathagata exist 

1 Vide Yamakami's systems of Buddhistic thought, pp. 28-42 ; 
J.P.T.S., 1904/5 ; F. O. Schrader on the problem of Nirvana. 


178 A History of Pali Literature 

after death ? Does the Tathagata both exist and 
not exist after death ? Khema in reply to these 
questions says that the Blessed One has not revealed 
these points to them. She further says that it is 
impossible to define the Tathagata for he is as 
boundless and unfathomable as the mighty ocean. 
So these questions do not apply. Anuruddha, 
Sariputta, and Moggallana answer in the same way 
the question put to them regarding the Tathagata. 1 

The Magga Samyutta (S.N., F, pp. 1-62) 
deals with the Noble Eightfold Path, e.g. samma- 
ditthi (right view), sammasankappo (right aim), 
sammavaca (right speech), sammakammanto (right 
action), samma ajiva (right living), sammavayama 
(right exertion), sammasati (right mindfulness), and 
sammasamadhi (right concentration). 

The Bojjhanga Samyutta (S.N., V, pp. 63-140) 
deals with the sattabojjhangas or the seven elements 
of supreme knowledge, e.g. sati (mindfulness), 
dhammavicaya (investigation of the Norm), viriya 
(energy), plti (tranquillity), passadhi (concent ration), 
samadhi (equanimity), and upekkha (indifference). 

The Satipatthdna Samyutta (8.N., V, pp. 141- 
192) deals with the four satipatthanas, the four 
stations of mindfulness as regards body, feelings, 
mind, and mind states kaye kayanupassi, vedanasu 
vedananupassi, citte cittanupassi, dhammesu 

The Indriya Samyutta (S.N., V, pp. 193-243) 
deals with the five indriyas, e.g. saddha (faith), viriya 
(energy), sati (mindfulness), samadhi (equanimity), 
and paniia (wisdom). 

The Sammappadhdna Samyutta (S.N., V, pp. 
244-248) deals with the four sammappadhanas 
or perfect exertions, e.g., to check the growth of 
sins which have not arisen, to put an end to sins 
which have arisen, to help the growth of merit 
which has not arisen, and to help the growth of 
merit which has arisen. 

1 Why is the Buddha called the Tathagata, see Papaiicasudani, 
I, pp. 45 foil. 

1 Canonical Pali Literature 179 

The Bala Samyutta (S.N., V, pp. 249 foil) 
deals with the five balas or powers, e.g. saddha 
(faith), viriya (energy), sati (mindfulness), samadhi 
(equanimity), and paiina (wisdom). 

The Iddhipdda Samyutta (S.N., F, pp. 254-293) 
deals with the four iddhis 1 or wonderful powers, 
e.g., chanda (desire), viriya (energy), citta (thought), 
and vimamsa (investigation). 

The Anuruddha Samyutta (S.N., V,pp. 294-306) 
relates to the attainment of great supernatural 
power by the venerable Anuruddha by being self- 
possessed and mindful with regard to body, feelings, 
mind, and mind states. 

The Jhdna Samyutta (S.N., V, pp. 307-310) 
deals with the four j lianas, the first trance the 
second the third, and the fourth. 

In the Andpdna Samyutta (S.N., V,pp. 311-341) 
the Blessed One says that concentration on in- 
breathing and out-breathing if cultivated, leads to 
great profit. 

In the Sotdpatti Samyutta 2 (S.N., V, pp. 342-413) 
the Lord says that the Ariyan disciple is possessed 
of unwavering loyalty to the Buddha, the Norm 
and the Order, that is, to the Buddhist Triad, and 
is blessed with the virtues dear to the Aryans 
(virtues untainted by carving or delusion), therefore 
he lives on gathered scraps though he be clothed in 
rags and is released from purgatory and rebirths. 

The Sacca Samyutta (S.N., F, pp. 414-478) 
deals with the four Aryan truths : suffering, its 
origin, its destruction, and the path leading to its 

1 Superwill-morewilJ. For to use iddhi is a very high mandate 
within the power of very few (Gotama the man, p. 221). 

2 Cf. Samyutta Nikaya, V, 384 

" Yassa saddha Tathagato || acala supatifthita || 
silanca yassa kalyanam || ariyakantam pasamsitam [| 
sanghe pasado yassatthi || ujubhutaii ca dassanam j| 
Adaliddo ti tarn ahu || amogham tassa jlvitam || 
Tasma saddham ca silanca || pasadam dhammadassanam 
anuyunjetha medhavi || saram buddhanasasanan ti." 
The verses also occur in the Samyutta Nikaya, I, 232, and 
the Anguttara Nikaya, II, 57 and III, 54. 

180 A History of Pali Literature 


The Ekuttara or Anguttara Nikaya 1 is the 
fourth book of the Sutta Pitaka. It is a collection 
characterised by numerical groupings of dhammas 
arranged serially in an ascending order. The P.T.S., 
London, has edited this book in Roman character 
in five volumes with an Index volume. The 
Sinhalese 2 and Burmese editions of this work are 
available. This book consists of the following 
nipatas : 

1. Eka Nipata consisting of 21 chapters, A.N., I. 1-46. 

2. Duka ., ., 16 1.47-100. 

3. Tika ., 16 ,, }5 I. 101-304. 

4. Catukka ,, ,. 26 ,, II. 1-257. 

5. Pancaka ,, 26 ,, ,, III. 1-278. 

6. Chakka ., 12 III. 279-452. 

7. Sattaka 9 IV. 1-149. 

8. Atthaka 9 IV. 150-350. 

9. Navaka ,, ,,9 ,, IV. 351-466. 

10. Dasaka ., 22 V. 1-310. 

11. Ekadasaka 3 ,. V. 311-361. 

The Eka Nipata (A.N., 7, pp. 1-46) deals with 
the nivaranas (obstacles), the mind concentrated or 
unconcentrated, the mind trained or untrained, the 
mind cultivated or uncultivated, exertion, diligence, 
and the Tathagata the only person who does good 
to mankind. It further deals with the foremost 
disciples of the Buddha Sariputta, Moggallana, 
Mahakassapa, and other eminent bhikkhus, the 
wrong view and the right view, wrong concentration 
and right concentration. 

1 P.T.S., editions pts. I and II by Rev. Richard Morris, 
LL.D., pts. III-V by Prof. Dr. E. Hardy, Ph.D., D.D. ; pt. VI 
(Indexes) by Mabel Hunt revised and edited by C. A. F. Rhys 
Davids. The P.T.S. has brought out an English translation of 
this work known as the Book of the Gradual Sayinys, some portions 
of this nikaya have been translated into English by A. D. Jayasundera 
and edited by F. L. Woodward known as, the Book of the Numerical 
Sayings, an English translation of the first tliree nipatas has been 
published by E. R. J. Gooneratne. 

A German translation of this Nikaya known as Die Reden des 
Buddha by Nyanatiloka has been published. 

2 The Sinhalese edition by Devamitta, Colombo, 1893, is worth 

Canonical Pali Literature 181 

The DuJca Nipdta (A.N., I, pp. 47-100) deals with 
the two kinds of sins which should be avoided sins 
which bear evil fniits even in this birth and sins 
which lead one to rebirth in hell, two kinds of balas 
or powers the power of seeing with close observa- 
tion the evil effects of sinful acts through body, 
speech, and mind and the power of cultivation of the 
seven elements of knowledge (satta sambo jjhan gas), 
the causes of the origin of the good and evil, different 
kinds of hopes or desires desire for gain and longev- 
ity, two kinds of gifts gift of material objects and 
gift of dhamma, different kinds of assemblies of the 
bhikkhus (assemblies of the bhikkhus who have 
not fully realised the four Noble Truths and the 
bhikkhus who have done so, of the bhikkhus who 
live in concord and harmony and the bhikkhus 
who do not). 

In the Tika Nipdia (A.N., /, pp. 101-304) the 
Blessed One says that they are fools who commit 
sinful acts through body, speech, and mind and they 
are the wise who do not do so. He praises gifts, 
renunciation of the worldly life, and supporting one's 
own parents. He recommends exertion for checking 
the growth of the evils which have not arisen, for 
developing the dhammas which have not arisen, 
and for removing the evils which have already arisen. 
He refutes some heretical views and gives a clear 
exposition of the fundamental teachings of the 
dhamma propounded by him. He says that there 
are some samanas and brahmanas who hold that 

the pleasant or painful and neither pleasant nor 
painful experiences are due to previous action, 
others who hold that these are providential, others 
again who hold that these are due to no cause what- 
soever. The Blessed One condemns these heretical 
views and gives a clear exposition of the chain of 
causation and the Four Aryan Truths. He also 
speaks of the duties of a samana. He then speaks 
on the subject of mangala or well-being. According 
to him he who commits sinful acts through body, 
speech, and mind is thrown into purgatory. But he 

182 A History of Pali Literature 

who is restrained in his body, speech, and mind and 
does meritorious acts through these goes to heaven 
and enjoys heavenly joys there. 

In the Catukka Nipdia (A.N., II, pp. 1-257) 
the Buddha says, " He who is not possessed of four 
things (holy conduct, holy concentration, holy in- 
sight, and holy emancipation) is said to be fallen 
away from this Norm and Discipline (Dhamma- 
Vinaya). An ignorant man who praises one who 
does not deserve praise, blames one who is worthy 
of praise, rejoices wherein one should not rejoice, 
and does not rejoice wherein one should rejoice, 
stores up much demerit. A wise man who does the 
right thing in these respects stores much merit." 
There are to be seen existing in the world four 
beings : 

(a) he that is ill-versed and leads not a 

virtuous life, 

(b) he that is ill-versed but leads a virtuous 


(c) he that is well-versed but leads not a 

virtuous life, and 

(d) he that is well- versed and also leads a 

virtuous life. 

The Blessed One also speaks of sloth and 
energy as evils and recommends exertions. He 
deals with the subject of wrong behaviour and right 
behaviour. The Lord says that there are four 
trifling things which are easily procurable and also 
faultless. They are pamsukula-civara, pindiyalopa- 
bhojanam, rukkhamula-senasana, and putimutta- 
bhesajja. 1 He speaks of the four ancient, agelong, 
and traditional noble lineages and says that a 
bhikkhu should rest content with whatsoever robe, 
alms, dwelling place, and medicine he gets. He 
deals with the four kinds of blessings (e.g. pati- 
rupadesavaso, dwelling in a suitable region; 

1 Clothes made of rags taken from a dust heap, eating a morsel 
of food, dwelling at the foot of a tree, strong-smelling urine (usually 
urine of cattle) used as medicine. 

Canonical Pali Literature 183 

sappurisupassayo, ' taking refuge in good men ' ; 
attasammapanidhi, right realisation of self; and 
pubbe ca katapunnata, good deeds done in former 
existences), the four kinds of kindly feelings, the 
four qualities which make one a great personage, 
the four qualities which guard a bhikkhu against 
his falling away and qualify him to be close to 
nirvana. Such a bhikkhu should observe the silas, 
control the portals of senses, be moderate in eating, 
and be ever watchful in the day time and at night 
in its three yamas (watches) pathama, majjhima, 
and pacchima. The Lord deals with the question 
as to who is a real bhikkhu. He speaks highly of 
oblations which are performed without cruelty. He 
speaks of the four ways of self -concentration, 1 of 
the four persons existing in the world who foster 
hatred, hypocrisy, gains, honours and not the Norm, 
of the four hallucinations, 2 and of the four faults 
of recluses and brahmins. 8 He deals with the 
four yields in merit 4 and virtue which bring about 
happiness, the four yields in merit which bring 
about heavenly bliss, and the four ways of living 
together/ He says that the Ariyan disciple who 
offers food gives to the recipient four things ; long 
life, personal beauty, happiness, and physical 

1 They arc as follows : ditthadhammasukhaviharaya (for 
happy condition in this world), nanadassanapatilabhaya (for 
knowledge and insight), satisampajaiinaya (for mindfulness and self- 
possession), and asavanam khayaya (for the destruction of sins). 

2 (a) taking what is anicca as nicca, (b) taking; what is adukkha 
as dukkha, (c) taking what is anatta as atta, and (d) taking what 
is asubha as subha. 

3 (a) bhikkhus drinking fermented liquor, (b) bhikkhus addicted 
to sensual pleasures, (c) bhikkhus accepting gold and silver, and 
(d) bhikkhus earning their livelihood by falsehood. 

4 (a) rightly believing that the Buddha is all-knowing, etc., 
(6) rightly believing that the Dhamina has been well -propounded 
by the Buddha, (c) rightly believing that the Sangha founded by 
the Buddha is well-established, and (d) the ariyasavaka (disciple of 
the Noble) is free from all impurities, etc. 

6 (a) the vile living with the vile, (b) the vile living with the 
good (goddess), (c) the good (god) living with the vile, and (d) the 
good (god) living with the good (goddess). 

184 A History of Pali Literature 

strength. He speaks of the duty of a layman, of 
blessings and happiness, gratitude to parents, the 
lures to hell, the four kinds of sinful persons, the 
four kinds of snakes to whom thoughts of loving- 
kindness should be sent forth, the fall of Devadatta, 
the four exertions, and of righteousness and un- 
righteousness. The Buddha says that a brother 
who is virtuous, well- versed, strenuous, and possessed 
of insight, follows the perfect way of conduct and his 
knowledge is directed to destroying the intoxicants. 
A brother who is endowed with thoughts of 
renunciation, of benevolence, of love, and of right 
views follows the perfect way and his knowledge 
is directed to destroying the intoxicants. The Lord 
also speaks of the qualities by which a wicked man 
is to be known, of the qualities by which a good 
man is to be known, of the four excellences, of the 
highest things, of the question of removal of doubts, 
of the four unthinkables which should not be 
pondered over, and of the four purities of gift. 
He speaks of heaven and hell, of persons in darkness 
and light, of persons of low state and high state, 
of titans and gods, of peace and insight, and of the 
persons who are praiseworthy and blameworthy. 
He speaks of the four kinds of clouds, the four kinds 
of jars, the four kinds of pools of water, the four 
kinds of mangoes, the four kinds of mice, the four 
kinds of oxen, the four kinds of trees, and the four 
kinds of snakes. The Buddha points out how he 
trains men. He speaks of four things : a thing which 
is unpleasant to be done, and when done, it results 
in loss ; a thing which is unpleasant to be done but 
when done, it results in gain ; a thing which is 
pleasant to be done, but when done, it results in 
loss ; a thing which is pleasant to be done and 
when done, it results in gain. He speaks of earnest- 
ness and mindfulness, of the four holy places which 
should be visited by the faithful clansman the 
place of the Buddha's birth, the place of his 
enlightenment, the place of his setting rolling the 
supreme wheel of righteousness, and the place of 

Canonical Pali Literature 185 

his Mahaparinibbana. The Buddha speaks of the 
fetters, of understanding, of sinful and sinless men, 
of morality, concentration, and insight. He speaks 
of men subdued or unsubdued in mind, in body, 
and in mind and body together. There are four 
lustres of moon, sun, fire, and wisdom. Of these 
the lustre of wisdom is the most excellent. There 
are four radiances of which the radiance of wisdom 
is the most excellent. There are four lights, of 
which the light of wisdom is the most excellent. 
There are four effulgences, of which the effulgence 
of wisdom is the most excellent. There are four 
lamps, of which the lamp of wisdom is the most 
excellent. There are four kinds of misconduct by 
word, viz. musavada (falsehood), pisunavaca (back- 
biting), pharusavaca (harsh speech), and samphap- 
pallapa (frivolous talk). There are four kinds of 
good conduct by word, viz. saccavaca (truthful 
words), apisimavaca (no backbiting), sanhavaca 
(gentle speech), and mantavaca (thoughtful speech). 
There are four essences, viz. sila (conduct), samadhi 
(meditation), panna (wisdom), and vimutti (emanci- 
pation). There are four faculties and four powers, 
viz. saddha (faith), viriya (energy), sati (recollec- 
tion), and samadhi (meditation). The Lord speaks 
of the four things which lead to the decay and 
disappearance of the Norm * and of the four things 
which lead to the preservation of the Norm. The 
Lord says that the monks should aspire to become 
like unto Sariputta and Moggallana. He speaks of 
the elements and of the annihilation of personality. 
Just as a warrior possessed of four qualities becomes 
worthy of the king, so a brother possessed of four 
qualities becomes worthy of offerings. The Exalted 
One speaks of conduct, integrity, firmness, and 
wisdom. The Exalted One replies to the charge 

1 Causes of the disappearance of the Norm are the following : 
(a) if the bhikkhus learn the suttantas which are not well taught, 
(6) if the bhikkhus are wrong in speech, (c) if the learned bhikkhus 
do not proclaim the suttantas rightly, and (d) if the learned 
bhikkhus are not serious about nibbana the opposites of these 
causes lead to the preservation of the Norm. 

186 A History of Pali Literature 

that he is a charmer and knows a trick of glamour, 

_ CP * 

whereby he entices the followers of other sects. 
He also speaks of the asavas or sins and says that 
it is not possible to cross the flood by self-mortifying 
austerities. The Lord explains to the bhikkhus 
about the wicked man and the good man and speaks 
of the sinful and the virtuous, the man of evil 
nature and the man of good nature. The Buddha 
says that there are four kinds of misconduct and 
four kinds of good conduct by word. The Blessed 
One says that from relying on a good man, four 
blessings should be expected as regards sila (conduct), 
samadhi (meditation), paiina (wisdom), and vimutti 
(emancipation). The Exalted One says that a 
bhikkhu who does not observe the silas, who enter- 
tains wrong views, who lives on lying, and who 
hankers after glory and fame, rejoices in the breaking 
of an order and that the holy life is lived for higher 
wisdom, for the sake of realisation of emancipation 
and for the mastery of mindfulness. The Buddha 


says that there are four persons worthy of monu- 
ments, Tathagata, 1 Paccekabuddha, 2 Tathagatasa- 
vaka 8 , and Rajacakkavatti. 4 He speaks of the four 
balas or potentialities : energy, mindfulness, con- 
centration, and wisdom and says that the bhikkhu 
who is given to lust, malice, and envy and who is a 
fool and has no common sense at all, should not 
take to forest life. According to him, he who 
kills living beings, incites others to kill, is expert 
in killing, and praises the killing of lives, is sure to 
go to hell and suffer there. 

The Pancaka Nipdta (A.N., III, pp. 1-278) 
deals with the five sekhabalas or the strength of 
the learner or disciple (saddha or faith, hiri or 

1 An epithet of the Buddha, lit., meaning one who has trodden 
the right path. 

2 Individual Buddha, one enlightened by oneself, i.e. one 
who has attained to the supreme and perfect insight but dies without 
proclaiming the truth to the world. 

8 A disciple of the Tathagata. 

4 Universal monarch. Read a paper on Cakkavatti by T. W. 
Rhys Davids (R. G. Bhandarkar commemoration vol., pp. 125-131). 

Canonical Pali Literature 187 

bashfulness, ottappo or shrinking back from com- 
mitting sin, viriya or energy and panna or wisdom), 
the five balas of the Tathagata (saddha, viriya, hiri, 
ottappo, and panna), the five upakkilesas or sins of 
the body (ayo or iron, loham or copper, tipu or tin, 
sisam or lead, and sajjham or silver), the five 
mvaranas or obstacles (kamacchando or desire for 
sensual pleasures, vyapado or ill-will, thmamiddham 
or sloth and torpor, uddhaccakakkuccam or haughti- 
ness and restlessness, and vicikiccha or doubt), and 
the five objects of meditation (asubha or disagreeable, 
anatta or without individuality, marana or death, 
ah are patikkula or disagreeableness in food, and 
sabbaloke anabhirati or not finding delight in the 
whole world). This nipata also points out that a 
bhikkhu endowed with five evil qualities, viz., 
avitaraga or not free from passion, avitadosa or not 
free from hatred, avitamoha or not free from delusion, 
makkho or hypocrisy, and palasa or malice, is not 
dear to his fellow monks ; but when endowed with 
five good qualities, he is dear to his fellow monks. 
It also deals with the five phasuviharas, viz., mettam 
(friendliness), kayakamniam (action by body), 
vacikammam (action by speech), manokammam 
(action by thought), observance of the Silas, and 
holding right views which lead to the extinction of 
suffering. The idea of aghata or harm should be 
replaced by metta feeling. It deals with the 
degradation of the brahmanas, the evils which 
befall a bhikkhu who becomes angry, and the evils of 
wrong behaviour. 

lii the Chakka Nipata (A.N., III, pp. 279-452) 
the Blessed One says that a bhikkhu endowed with 
six qualities becomes worthy of veneration and 
worship. Such a bhikkhu should be indifferent 
to the objects of sight, sound, savoury, taste, 
tangible things, and phenomena. There are six 
dhammas which should be remembered by a bhikkhu. 
As regards his body, speech, and mind he should 
cultivate the metta feeling. He should also observe 
the silas and hold right views which lead one to the 

188 A History of Pali Literature 

destruction of suffering. The Exalted One speaks of 
the six dhammas which are essential for a bhikkhu 
to cultivate. They are as follows : na kammara- 
mata (no delight in deeds), na bhassaramata (no 
delight in disputations), na niddaramata (no delight 
in sleep), na sanganikaramata (no delight in com- 
pany), sovacassata (gentleness), and kalyanamittata 
(association with the virtuous). According to the 
Buddha the highest of sight is the sight of the 
Tathagata, the highest of hearing is the hearing of 
the preaching of doctrines by the Tathagata, the 
highest of gain is gaining faith in the Tathagata, 
the highest of learning is learning the doctrine 
preached by the Tathagata, the highest of service 
is serving the Tathagata and his disciples, and the 
highest of anussati (recollection) is the anussati 
(recollection) of the Tathagata and his disciples. 

The Sattaka Nipata (A.N., IV, pp. 1-140) 
deals with the seven dhanas or riches (e.g., saddha 
or faith, sila or conduct, hiri or bashfulness, ottappa 
or shrinking from committing sins, suta or learning, 
caga or sacrifice, and paiina or wisdom, and the 
seven samyojanas or bonds : anunaya or friendliness, 
patigha or repugnance, ditthi or false belief, 
vicikiccha or doubt, mana or pride, bhava or 
existence, and avijja or ignorance). The Exalted 
One condemns the sacrifices in which slaughter of 
living creatures occurs. He says that a true and 
noble disciple does not trouble himself with the 
thought whether the Tathagata exists or does not 
exist after death. He further says how a bhikkhu 
becomes an upholder of the Vinaya (Vinayadharo). 

The Atfha Nipata (A.N., IV, pp. 15(>-350) deals 
with the teachings of the Buddha elaborately, the 
various kinds of alms-giving, the uposatha ceremony, 
the eight causes of earthquake and mindfulness. 

The Navalca Nipata (A.N., IV, pp. 351-466) deals 
with the nine kinds of persons : araha (saint), 
arahattayapatipanno (one who has reached the 
stage of an arahat), anagami (one who has reached 
the third stage of sanctification), anagamiphal- 

Canonical Pali Literature 189 

asacchikiriyayapatipanno (one who has attained 
the fruition of the third stage of sanctification), 
sakadagami (one who has reached the second stage 
of sanctification), sotapanno (one who has reached 
the first stage of sanctification), sotapattiphalas- 
acchikiriyaya-patipanno (one who has attained the 
fruition of the first stage of sanctification), puthuj- 
jano (ordinary man), and nine kinds of sannas or 
objects of thought : asubha (impurity), marana 
(death), ahare patikkula (disagreeableness in food), 
sabbaloke anabhirati (not finding delight in the 
whole world), anicca (impermanence), anicce dukkha 
(suffering in impermanence), dukkhe anatta (not a 
self in suffering), pahana (abandonment), and viraga 
(absence of passion). It further says that one can 
attain arahatship by putting away raga (passion), 
dosa (hatred), moha (delusion), kodha (anger), 
upanaha (enmity), makkha (ill feeling), and palasa 
(spite). It also mentions the five constituent ele- 
ments : raga (passion), vedana (sensation), sanna 
(perception), sankhara (constituent elements), and 
viiinana (consciousness) and the five destinies of 
beings : -niraya (hell), tiracchanayoni (region of 
animals), pettivisayo (realm of the departed spirits), 
mantissa (human beings), and deva (gods). 

In the Dasaka Nipdta (A.N., V, pp. 1-310) 
we are told of the attainments of the Buddha. 
We find Upali asking questions on doctrinal points 
and the Buddha giving the replies. The Blessed 
One explains what is meant by the term ' sangha- 
bheda '. He says that when the bhikkhus preach 
dhamma as adhamma and vice versa, vinaya as 
avinaya and vice versa and attribute to the 
Tathagata that which has not been spoken by him, 
preached by him, practised by him, and laid down by 
him, then sanghabheda occurs. There is mention 
of the ten sannas, the cultivation of which leads to 
great advantages. The dasa sannas are : anicca 
(impermanence), anatta (non-self), marana (death), 
ahare patikkula (disagreeableness in food), sabbaloke 
anabhirati (dissatisfaction towards the whole world), 

190 A History of Pali Literature 

atthika (bone), pulavaka (one of the asubha kamma- 
tthanas which is called pulavaka, i.e. the contempla- 
tion of the worm-infested corpse), vinilaka (one 
of the asubha kammatthanas obtained by the 
contemplation of a corpse black with decay), 
vicchidaka (one of the asubha kammatthanas 
obtained by the contemplation of a corpse fissured 
from decay), and uddhumataka (idea of a bloated 
corpse). There is also mention of the seven elements 
of knowledge, viz.: sati (recollection), dhamma- 
vicaya (investigation of doctrine), viriya (energy), piti 
(delight), passaddhi (calmness), samadhi (meditation), 
and upekkha (indifference). The seven bojjhahgas 
make one to attain the three kinds of knowledge 
knowledge of previous existence, knowledge of the 
passing of beings from one existence to another, and 
knowledge of the extinction of the asavas (sins). 

The ten parisuddhis (purifications) are also 
enumerated here. They arc sammaditthi (right 
view), sammasankappo (right determination), 
sammavaca (right speech), sammakammanto (right 
action), samma ajivo (right living), sammavayamo 
(right exertion), sammasati (right recollection), 
sammasamadhi (right meditation), sammananaih 
(right knowledge), and sammavimutti (right eman- 
cipation). The Blessed One explains to the bhikkhus 
what is sadhu and what is asadhu, what is ariya- 
magga and what is anariyanmgga. A person 
possessed of the bad qualities should not be served 
whereas a person possessed of the good qualities 
should be served. The former is reborn into hell 
and the latter goes to heaven. 

In the EkSdasaka Nipdta (A.N., V, pp. 311-361) 
we are told of the qualities which are essentially 
necessary for the attainment of Nibbana and which 
will help one to become the highest and best among 
gods and men. It is stated that through Vijja 
and Carana * one can attain Nibbana. This nipata 

1 In the Ambaftha Sutta we read : Vijjacarana-sampanno 
so set$ho deva-marmse. The terms vijja and carana are explained 
in this sutta (pp. 99-100). 

' (Janonical Jfali Literature 191 

also deals with the eleven blessings which are to be 
expected from the exercise of benevolence, with the 
eleven gates leading to Nibbana, by each of which 
one may save oneself. One should also develop 
eleven conditions for acquiring the knowledge of 
human passion. 

As regards the importance of the Ahguttara 

Nikaya, we may point out that it 
importance of the applies on a comprehensive scale 
Anguttara Nikaya. to the numerical scheme of 

mnemonics as enunciated in the 
Kumara Panha, the * Novice's Questions.' The 
same scheme has been followed also in the Sangiti 
and Dasuttara Suttantas of the Digha Nikaya, as 
well as in the Thera and the Therigathas. The art 
has been tried, though not very systematically, in 
the Atharvavedasamhita. Thus at the first sight 
this nikaya is far from presenting a connected 
exposition of the doctrine. But on a closer examina- 
tion it may be found that it works out a definite 
scheme of its own, all the suttas grouped in the 
successive numerical sections have bearings on a 
twofold Vinaya, namely, the Bliikkhuvinaya and 
the Gahapativinaya. Although the groupings or 
enumerations of doctrines or principles are in many 
instances similar to those in the Samyutta Nikaya, 
the distinction of the Anguttara lies in the fact that 
its bearing is, on the whole, practical, we mean on 
the aspect of discipline and the time may come 
when it will be satisfactorily proved that the origin 
of the materials of the Vinaya Suttavibhanga were 
derived mainly from this nikaya. Its importance 
lies also in the fact that the contents of the Puggala- 
panfiatti which is one of the earliest of the 
Abhidhamma books are nothing but excerpts from it. 

Comparing the individual passages it becomes 
increasingly clear that the lengthy discourses in 
the Digha and Majjhima Nikayas have been broken 
up in the Anguttara, and the points dealt with in 
them have been emphasised separately in smaller 
groupings. Thus it may be shown that the purpose 

192 A History of Pali Literature 

of this nikaya is to sufficiently emphasise certain 
doctrinal points by repeatedly dinning them into 
the ears of the hearers. 

But we are not to suppose that the Anguttara 
has not an originality of its own as regards its 
contents. There are indeed many suttas or passages 
which are peculiarly its own and these passages 
shed much lustre on the development of Buddhism 
and its history. 1 

Attention may be drawn, for instance, to the 
Etadaggavagga in the Ekanipata. It furnishes us 
with a list of prominent Buddhist personalities 
among the bhikkhus, the bhikkhums, the upasakas, 
and upasikas who are declared by the Buddha to 
be the foremost in ranks in certain attainments or 
qualities. For instance, the Thera Mahakaccana 
was declared to be the foremost amongst those 
immediate disciples of the Buddha who had the 
capacity to set forth in detail the meaning of a truth 
briefly enunciated by the Master ; the Thera Vangisa 
amongst those who excelled in the art of improvisa- 
tion. All this goes to prove that the Buddhist 
Order as organised by the Buddha left sufficient 
scope for the development of individualism and 
initiative. The Appamattakavagga in the same 
nipata is highly significant as emphasising the need 
of philanthropic works and having as such a direct 
bearing on Asoka's Dhaimna. 

In the Dukampata we may draw attention to 
the Kammakaranavagga throwing a flood of light 
on the brutal methods of punishment and criminal 
justice, the rigour of which was sought to be modified 
by King Asoka. 

In the same nipata we have a Viiiaya tract, 
Atthavasavagga, which may even be identified with 
the passage, ' Vinaya-samukase ', recommended by 
Asoka in his Bhabru Edict. Its interest centres 
round a scheme which it lays down, presenting a 
plan for the whole of the Vinaya Pitaka. Attention 

1 e.g., Anguttara Nikaya, I, pp. 11, 33, 55, etc. 

Canonical Pali Literature 195 

may be drawn to the Parisavagga in the Dukanipata, 
the tract on Ariyavamsa in the Catukkanipata and 
the tract on Anagatabhayani, future dangers of the 
faith, as well as the Rajavagga in the Pancakanipata, 
all of which has a close bearing on the edicts and 
teachings of Asoka. 

Sanity and perspecuity characterise the style 
of this Nikaya. In a purely prosaic and mechanical 
scheme there are to be seen matters that bristle 
with interest. The variety of contents assigns a 
very important place to this Nikaya in regard to the 
subsequent development of Buddhist texts belonging 
to all the three pitakas. 


The Khuddaka Nikaya is the fifth and the 
last division of the Sutta Pitaka. Strictly speaking 
it is composed of sixteen independent treatises which 
are enumerated by Buddhaghosa as fifteen. Its 
contents are of different times. Some of its parts 
belong to the earliest period while others to the 
latest stratum of the Pali Canon. It is composed 
for the most part in verse, and contains all the 
most important works of Buddhist poetry. The 
sixteen books are as follows : 

(1) Khuddakapatha, (2) Dhammapada, (3) 
Udana, (4) Itivuttaka, (5) Sutta Nipata, (6) Vimana- 
vatthu, (7) Petavatthu, (8) Theragatha, (9) Theri- 
gatha, (10) Jatakas, (11 and 12) Mahaniddesa and 
Cullamddesa (counted as one treatise by Buddha- 
ghosa), (13) Patisambhidamagga, (14) Apadana, 
(15) Buddha vamsa, and (16) Cariyapitaka. 

According to the Burmese tradition, there are 
four other works besides the above-mentioned texts, 
namely, the Milindapanha, the Suttasamgaha, the 
Petakopadesa, and the Netti or Nettipakarana. 

Khuddakapatha. The Khuddakapatha or 
" short lessons " is the first book. It is also known 
as " Lesser readings " . Mrs. Rhys Davids calls it the 
text of the minor sayings. It is a selection made 


194 A History of Pali Literature 

out of an original collection of the canon. It 
possesses a high authority in Ceylon. It takes 
its name from its first four texts which are very 
brief and are termed pathas. The first four pathas 
and the Mangala, Ratana, and Metta Suttas are 
translated by Gogerly in his version of Pirit in the 
Ceylon Friend (June, July, and August, 1839). 
Besides there are two suttas, Tirokuddasutta and 

The Khuddakapatha consists of nine texts. 
According to the commentary, the book derives its 
name from the first four passages which are shorter 
in comparison with the remaining five passages 
or suttas. The first is the Buddhist creed ; the 
second gives the ten commandments prescribed for 
the novices ; and the ninth is the Karanlyamettasutt a 
in which kindness towards all creatures is esteemed 
as the true Buddhist cult. The work is a booklet 
of only a few pages, starting with the so-called 
Buddhist creed : 

" I take my refuge in the Buddha (Buddham 

saranarh gacchami). 
I take refuge in the Dhamma (religion) 

(Dhammam saranam gacchami). 
I take refuge in the Samgha (Order) ( Samgha m 

saranam gacchami)." a 

Then the following other topics are discussed 
in the Khuddakapatha : 

(A) The ten precepts, 2 e.g. 

1 This is known as the refuge formula, better known as Saranat 
tayaxh or Tlsaranam. From the Mahavagga it appears that the two 
merchants, Tapussa and Bhallika, were the first in the world to 
become lay disciples (of the Buddha) by the formula which contained 
(only) the dyad. Because there was no Samgha at that time, their 
declaration of taking refuge, by which they became upasakas, could 
refer only to the dyad (the Buddha and the Dhamma), instead of the 
triad of the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Samgha. Yasa, the son 
of a setthi of Benares, was the first person in the world who becanu- 
a lay disciple by the formula of the holy triad (cf . Sacred Books of 
the East, Vol. XIII, p. 106). 

2 The first five commandments are meant for the laymen and 
all the ten commandments are meant for the monks. Mrs. Rhys 
Davids translates it as " the tenfold course ". 

Canonical Pali Literature 195 

(i) Avoidance of life-slaughter, 
(ii) Avoidance of theft, 
(iii) Avoidance of leading irreligious life, 
(iv) Avoidance of falsehood, 
(v) Avoidance of drinking spirituous liquor, 
(vi) Avoidance of dancing, singing, and music, 
(vii) Avoidance of using garlands, scents, 
ointments and avoidance of orna- 

(viii) Avoidance of using luxurious and magni- 
ficent household furniture, 
(ix) Avoidance of using gold and silver, 
(x) Avoidance of taking food at improper 

(B) The 32 parts of the body, e.g. hairs of the 
head, nails, teeth, heart, liver, skin, flesh, spleen, 
abdomen, bile, phlegm, lungs, mucus, pus, blood, 
kidney, marrow, etc. (cf. Visuddhimagga, I, pp. 249- 
265, Sammohavinodam, Sinhalese Ed., pp. 49-63). l 

(C) Novice's questions or as Mrs. Rhys Davids 
puts it " questions for young gentlemen " 

What is meant by one ? all beings live on 

What are meant by two ? name and form. 

What are meant by three ? the three sensa- 

What are meant by four ? the four truths. 

What are meant by five ? the five constituent 
elements of beings. 

What are meant by six ? the six sense-organs. 

What are meant by seven ? seven super- 
natural knowledges. 

What are meant by eight ? the noble eight- 
fold path. 

1 The thirty-one parts of the body excepting Matthake Mattha- 
hmgam are also mentioned in the Maha-satipaithana Suttanta of 
the Dlgha Nikaya, Vol. II, p. 293, and in the Satipatthanasuttaiii 
of the Majjhima Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 57. Mrs. Rhys Davids translates 
tk Dvattimsakararh " as the thirty -twofold formation (vide the Minor 
Anthologies of the Pali Canon, Pt. I, S.B.B., 1931). 

196 A History of Pali Literature 

What are meant by nine ? the nine abodes 

of human beings. 
What are meant by ten ? the ten attributes 

which go to make a being a saint. 

There are five suttas in the Khuddakapatha, a 
brief summary of which is given below. 

Mangala Sutta (Khuddakapafha, P.T.S., pp. 
2-3). This sutta 1 is like the Svastyayana gatha. 
The chief blessings are the following : 

Not to serve the unwise but to attend to the 
learned and to offer offerings to those worthy of 
homage, to live in a suitable place, to have done 
meritorious deeds in past existences and right self- 
application, to serve parents, to provide for wife 
and children and to follow a peaceful vocation, to 
give alms, to lead a religious life, to help relatives 
and to do good deeds, to abstain from sin, to refrain 
from the use of intoxicants and to preserve in virtue, 
reverence, humility, contentment, and gratitude and 
to attend to religious sermons at proper time, to 
be patient and gentle in speech, to visit the order 
of monks, to hold religious discourse at proper 
season, asceticism and celibacy, discernment of the 
four noble truths and realisation of Nibbana, to 
have a mind unshaken by ups and downs of life, 
free from sorrow, impurity, and tranquil. The 
Mahamangala Jataka in Fausboll's Jataka, Vol. IV, 
may be taken to represent the Hindu background of 
the Buddhist Mangala Sutta. 

Ratana Sutta (Khuddakapatha, pp. 3-6). This 
sutta 2 is one of the finest lyrics in early Pali poetry, a 
charming hymn of praise of the Buddhist holy 
Triad, recited to ward off dangers and secure pros- 
perity. The poem, as we now have it, consists of 
two separate groups of stanzas, the one of the five 

1 There is a commentary on this sutta known as the Marigalat- 
thadipani. This sutta also occurs in the Sutta Nipata. But the 
title of the sutta in the Sutta Nipata is Mahamangala Suttam 
(Sutta Nipata, P.T.S., pp. 46-47). 

2 Cf. Sutta Nipata, p. 39. 

Canonical Pali Literature 197 

stanzas (first two and the last three) being tradi- 
tionally known as the original structure (adito 
paiicagatha). The remaining stanzas appear to 
have been inserted into the original scheme of 

Whatever treasure there is in the world or in the 
next and whatever excellent jewels there are in 
heaven there is none equal to the Buddha. There 
is nothing equal to the unceasing meditation extolled 
by the Buddha. Those who being free from desire 
with a steadfast mind are firmly established in the 
religion of Gautama, obtain arahatship. As the 
pillar of a city-gate standing on the earth is immov- 
able by the wind from the four directions, so I call 
him a righteous man who realises four noble truths. 
They that clearly meditate on the four noble truths 
laid down by the wise one, however much they may 
be led astray, cannot obtain the eighth birth in 
the Niraya hell. He who is blessed with the know- 
ledge of Nibbana, these three things are cast off 
by him vanity of self, doubt, and false belief in 
vain ceremonies or any other thing that exists. 
Such a person is delivered from the four states of 
punishment and it is impossible for him to commit 
six deadly sins. The Buddha preached his excellent 
doctrine for the good of men. The wise whose 
old karma is destroyed and no new karma is pro- 
duced, whose heart no longer cleaves to future 
existence, whose seeds of existence are destroyed 
and desires quenched extinguish like a lamp. 

Tirokudda Sutta 1 (Khuddakapdtha, p. 6). The 
departed spirits stand outside our dwelling houses, 
at corners, at cross roads, they stand at our doors 
coming back to their old homes. Those of the 
kinsmen who are compassionate, bestow on them 
in due time food and drink, pure, sweet, and excellent, 
thinking let these be for our departed relatives, 
let them be happy. In the land of the departed 

1 Cf. Petavatthu (P.T.S.), pp. 4-5 Tiroku4dapetavatthu. 
Mrs. Rhys Davids calls this sutta as " The saying on over the walls ". 

198 A History of Pali Literature 

there exist no husbandry, no tending of cattle, no 
commerce and no trade in gold. The departed 
live in that world on what they receive from this 
world. Weeping, sorrow, and other manners of 
lamentation, none of these benefit the departed. 
The gift offered by mankind to an well-established 
order of monkhood will be for their good for a 
long time and will surely benefit the dead. This 
sutta represents the earliest known Buddhist formula 
of offering oblations to the departed spirits, a 
custom evidently taken from the general custom of 
the Hindus. 

Nidhikandasutta (KhuddakapdtJia, p. 7). A man 
buries his treasure in a pit near water thinking thus 
within himself, " if occasion arises this treasure will 
be of use to me, when I am accused by the king or 
plundered by thieves, or for release from debt 
or in times of famine and calamity ". For these 
purposes a man conceals his treasure in this world. 
A wise man should practise virtue, a treasure which 
will follow him after death. Fine complexion, 
sweet voice, good feature, and beauty of person, 
pomp and power over his family all that is obtained 
by this treasure. All worldly prosperity, every 
pleasure in celestial abode, the bliss of Nirvana all 
that is obtained by this treasure. A man obtaining 
good friends by his wisdom can obtain knowledge, 
emancipation and self-control by means of this 
treasure. Analytical knowledge, emancipation, ail 
the perfections of a disciple, the knowledge of all 
individual Buddhas and the state of the Buddha 
all that is obtained by this treasure. The wise and 
the learned should praise meritorious deeds. 

Kamniyamettasutta (Khuddakapdtha^ pp. 8-9). r 
A person should be diligent, straightforward, up- 
right, obedient, gentle, and not vainglorious. He 
should not do any mean acts for which the wise 
might abuse him. Let all creatures be happy and 

1 Of. Sutta Nipata, p. 25, but the title of the sutta is Mettasutta 
or " saying on amity ". 

Canonical Pali Literature 199 

prosperous, let them be contented. A person 
should not deceive another, nowhere and in no 
way should show disrespect to any one. Let none 
out of anger or sense of resentment wish misery 
to another. A person should cherish boundless 
goodwill towards all the beings. Without embracing 
false views and false doctrines, the virtuous man 
possessed of insight subduing his desire for sensual 
pleasures, will never be born in the womb. 

The Khuddakapatha does not contain much 
idea of Nibbana in about Nibbana. In the Ratana 

the Khuddakapatha. g utta the WQ ^ d amatar fc, ^ as b een 

used for Nibbanam (cf. tepattipattaamatam vigayha). 
In the Mettasuttam Santam Padam has been used 
for Nibbana (cf. karamyam atthakusalena yam 
tam santam padam abhisamecca, etc.). 

The Novice's questions appear to have been 
,, , ,. . taken from the Vinaya. The 

Concluding remarks. ,.- . , ~ __ J , 

Mangala butta, Ratana Sutta, and 
Karamyamettasutta occur also in the Sutta Nipata 
of the Khuddaka Nikaya and the Tirokuddasutta 
also occurs in the Petavatthu. As regards the date 
of the work, it appears to have been compiled even 
after the first commitment of the canon to writing 
in the 1st century B.C. It has been edited by 
Helmer Smith for the P.T.S., London, with its 
commentary. The commentary appears to have 
been written by Buddhaghosa/ The commentaries 
on the Khuddakapatha and the Sutta Nipata are 
known as the Paramatthajotika. Buddhaghosa 
wrote them of his own accord in the fifth century 
A.D. There is an edition of this book by R. C. 
Childers published in the J.R.A.S., 1870, N.S. 
with English translation and notes. A German 
edition by Karl Seidenstucker is also available 
published in Breslau in 1910. There is another 
edition with English translation by M. K. Ghosh 
and published by Messrs. Chakravartty Chatterjee 
and Co., Calcutta. There are Sinhalese, Burmese, 
and Siamese editions of this text. The text of the 
Khuddakapatha has been re-edited and translated 

200 A History of Pali Literature 

by Mrs. Rhys Davids in the Sacred Books of the 
Buddhists series under the name of the Minor 
Anthologies of the Pali Canon. 

Dhammapada. The Dhammapada is the second 
book. It contains the sublime teachings of the 
Buddha. The text contains 423 verses divided into 
26 vaggas or chapters which are as follows: (1) 
Yamaka, (2) Appamada, (3) Citta, (4) Puppha, 
(5) Bala, (6) Pandita, (7) Arahanta, (8) Sahassa, 
<9) Papa, (10) Danda, (11) Jara, (12) Atta, (13) 
Loka, (14) Buddha, (15) Sukha, (16) Piya, (17) 
Kodha, (18) Mula, (19) Dhammattha, (20) Magga, 
(21) Pakinnaka, (22) Niraya, (23) Naga, (24) Tanha, 
(25) Bhikkhu, and (26) Brahmana, a brief summary 
of which is given below : 

Chapter I Yamakavagga 1 (Dhammapada, 
P.T.S., pp. 1-3). Hatred does not cease by hatred. 
It ceases by love. Those who know that we all must 
come to an end in this world, their quarrels cease 
at once. He who lives looking for pleasures only, 
his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle 
and weak, will be overcome by Mara. He who 
disregards temperance and truth and who puts on 
yellow robe without having cleansed himself from 
sin is unworthy of the yellow robe. He who knows 
truth in truth, untruth in untruth arrives at truth 
and follows true desires. An evil-doer mourns in 
this world and in the next ; he mourns in both. 
He mourns and suffers when he sees the evil result 
of his own work. A virtuous man delights in this 
world, in the next and in both. He delights and 
rejoices when he sees the purity of his own work. 
A virtuous man is happy when he thinks of the 
good he has done. 

1 Anikkasavo kasavam yo vattham paridahessati, apeto dama- 
saccena, na so kasavam arahati. Of. Mahabharata, xii, 568. Anish- 
kaehaye Kashayam lhartham iti viddhi tarn. Dharmadhvajanam 
mundanam vrittyartham iti me matih. 

Pare ca na vijananti " mayam ettha yamamase", ye ca 
tattha vijananti, tato sammanti medhaga ". See Theragatha, p. 33. 

Canonical Pali Literature 201 

Chapter II Appamddavagga l (Dhammapada, 
pp. 4-5). Earnestness is the path of immortality, 
thoughtlessness, the path of death. The wise 
people, meditative, steady, always possessed of 
strong powers, attain to Nirvana, the highest 
happiness. Fools follow after vanity. Earnestness 
is praised and thoughtlessness is always blamed. A 
bhikkhu who delights in earnestness, who looks 
with fear on thoughtlessness, moves about like 
fire and a bhikkhu who delights in reflection, who 
looks with fear on thoughtlessness cannot fall away 
he is close upon Nirvana. 

Chapter III Cittavagga 2 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 5-6). Well-guarded thoughts bring happiness. 
If a man's faith is unsteady, if he does not know 
the true law, if his peace of mind is troubled, his 
knowledge will never be perfect. Whatever a hater 
may do to a hater or an enemy to an enemy, a 
wrongly directed mind will do him greater mischief. 

Chapter I V Pupphavagga 8 (Dhammapada 9 
pp. 7-9). The perfume of those who possess virtue 
rises up to the gods as the highest. The odour of 
good men like good flowers travels against the wind. 
The fame of a good man is spread all over the 

1 " Appamado amatampadam, pamado maccuno padam, 
appamatta na mlyanti, ye pamatta yathamata." This verse, as 
recited to Asoka, occurs in the Dipavamsa, VI, 53. Cf. Mahavamsa 
(Geiger), p. 35 ; Jataka, V, p. 99 and Nettipakarana, p. 34. 

2 Dunniggahassa lahuno yatthakamanipatino, cittassa damatho 
sadhu, cittarh dantarh sukhavaham (cf. Jataka, I, pp. 312, 400). 

8 "Pupphani h'eva pacinantam vyasattamanasam naram suttarh 
gamam mahoghova maccu adaya gacchati. 

Pupphani h'eva pacinantam vyasattamanasam naram atittam 
yeva kainesa antako kurute vasam." 

There is a curious similarity between these verses and verses 
6540-41, and 9939 of the Santiparva. 

" Puspaniva vicin van tarn anyatragatamanasam 
anavaptesu kamesu mrtyur abhyeti manavam 
Suptam vyaghram mahaugho va mrtyur adaya gacchat* 
Sancinvanakam evainam kamanarh avitrptikam." 
** Yathapi bhamaro puppham vannagandham ahe^hayi 
paleti rasam adaya, evam game muni care ti." 

(Cf. Nettipakare 

202 A History of Pali Literature 

Chapter V Balavagga 1 (Dhammapada, pp. 9- 
11). A fool who thinks himself wise is a fool indeed. 
If a fool is associated with a wise man even all his 
life, he will perceive truth to some extent. If an 
intelligent man be associated with a wise man for 
a moment, he will soon perceive the truth. As 
long as the evil deed done does not bear fruit, the 
fool thinks it is like honey but when it ripens, 
then the fool suffers grief. A fool wishes for a false 
reputation. If a bhikkhu realises the fact that one 
is the road leading to wealth and another is the 
road leading to Nirvana, he will not yarn for honour 
but he will strive after separation from the world. 

Chapter VI Panditavagga 2 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 11-13). Wise people after they have listened to 
the laws, become serene. Good men walk under 
all circumstances. A wise man should leave the 
dark state of ordinary life and follow the bright 
state of the bhikkhu. Those whose mind is well- 
grounded in the seven elements of knowledge who 
without clinging to anything rejoice in freedom 
from attachment, whose appetites have been con- 
quered and who are full of light, are free in this world. 

Chapter VII Arahantavagga (Dhammapada, 
pp. 13-15). There is no suffering for him who has 

1 Madhuva rnafifiatl balo yava papam ria paceati 
Yada ca paccati papam atha (balo) dukkharh nigacchatt. 
The verse is taken from the Samyutta Nikaya where, however, 
we read * thananhi ' instead of rnadhuva. 

Cf. Nettipakarana, p. 131 Caranti bala dummodha amitteri ' 
eva attana 

karonta papakain kammam yarn hoti kat-ukapphalam. 
Na tam kammam katarh adhu yam katva anutappati 
yassa assumukho rodarh vipakam patisevati. 

Cf. Jataka, Vol. Ill, p. 291. 
Mase mase kusaggena balo bhuiljetha bhojanam 
na so sankhatadhammanam kalam agghati sojasim. 

Cf. Uttaradhyayana Sutra, ix, 44. 

Na hi papam katarh kammam sajju khirarh va muccati 
dahantam balarh anveti bhasmachanno va pavako. 

Cf. Nettipakarana, p. 161. 

2 Nidhinam va pavattararh yam passe vajjadassinarii 
^gga-y^vadim medhavirh tadisam panditam bhaje, 
tadisam bhajamanassa seyyo hoti na papiyo. 

Cf. Jataka, Vol. Ill, p. 367 ; Theragatha, pp. 89-90. 

Canonical Pali Literature 203 

abandoned grief, who has freed himself on all sides 
and thrown off the fetters. The man who is free 
from credulity but knows the uncreated, who has 
cut all ties, removed all temptations, renounced all 
desires, is the greatest of men. 

Chapter VIII Sahassavagga 1 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 15-17). He who always greets and constantly 
reveres the aged, will gain these four things, namely 
life, beauty, happiness, and power. He who lives 
a hundred years, vicious and unrestrained, a life 
of one dav is better if a man is virtuous and 


reflecting. He who lives a hundred years, ignorant 
and unrestrained, a life of one day is better if a 
man is wise and reflecting. He who lives a hundred 
years, idle and weak, a life of one day is better if 
a man has attained firm strength. He who lives a 
hundred years not seeing beginning and end, a 
life of one day is better if a man sees beginning and 
end. He who lives a hundred years, not seeing the 
immortal place, a life of one day is better if a 
man sees the immortal place. He who lives a 
hundred years, not seeing the highest law, a life 
of one day is better if a man sees the highest law. 
Chapter IX Pdpavagga 2 (Dhammapada, pp. 17- 
19). A man should hasten towards good and should 

1 The Sahassavagga is quoted as Sahasravarga in the Mahavastu, 
ef. Tesarh Bhagavan jatilanarh Dharmapadesu sahasravargam 
bhasati : v Sahasram api vacanaih aiiarthapadasamhitanam, ekartha- 
vati Sreya yam 6rutva upasamyati. Sahasram api gathanam 
anarthapadasamliitaiiam ekarthavati 6reya yam 6rutvaupa6amyati.' 

Abhivadanasilissa niccam vaddhapacayino cattaro dhamma 
vaddhanti : fiyu, vanno, sukham balaih. Cf. Manu, II, 121. 
Abhivadaua6ilasya nityarh vrddhopaseviiiah 
Cat van sampravardhante ayur vidya ya6o balaih. 
" Yo sahassam sahassena sangame manuse jine 
ekam ca jiyya attanam sa ve sangamajuttamo." 

Cf. Uttaradhyayana Sutra, ix, 34. 

2 Papo pi passati bhadram yava papam na paccati, 
yada ca paccati papaiii (atha) papo papani passati. 
Bhadro pi passati papam yava bhadram na paccati, 
yada ca paccati bhadram (atha) bhadro bhadrani passati. 

Cf. Jataka, Vol. I, p. 231. 

4i G abb ham eke upapajjanti nirayam papakammino, 
Saggarh sugatino yanti. .... .anasava." 

Cf. Mahavastu, ii, p. 424. 

204 A History of Pali Literature 

keep his thought away from evil. If a man commits 
a sin, let him not repeat it. If a man does what is 
good, let him do it again. A man should think 
lightly of evil. If a man offends a harmless, pure 
and innocent person, the evil falls back upon that 

Chapter X Dandavagga 1 (Dhammapada, pp. 19- 
21). All men are afraid of punishment and all 
men fear death. He who seeking his own happiness 
punishes or kills beings who also long for happiness, 
will not find happiness after death. Do not speak 
harshly to anybody. A fool does not know when 
he commits his evil deeds. He will have cruel 
suffering, loss, injury of the body, heavy affliction or 
loss of mind. Not nakedness, not plaited hair, 
not dirt, not fasting or lying on the earth, not 
rubbing with dust, not sitting motionless can purify 
a mortal who has not overcome desires. 

Chapter XI Jardvagga 2 (Dhammapada, pp. 22- 
23). The body in this world is wasted, full of sick- 

1 Attanam upamam katva na hanneya, na ghataye. 

This is an expression which occurs frequently in Sanskrit. 
<?f. Hitopade6a, I, 11 

Prana yathatmano-bhis^a bhutanam api te tatha, 
Atmaupamyena bhutesu dayam kurvanti sadhavah 
Sukhakamani bhutani yo dandena vihirnsati, 
Attano sukham esano pecca na labhate sukharh. 

Cf. Manu, V, 45, cf. Netti, p. 130. 
" Yo himsakani bhutani hinastyatmasukhecchaya, 
Sa jivamSca mrta^caiva na kvacit sukham edhate. 

Cf. Mahabharata, XIII, 5568. 
Ahiihsakani bhutani dandena vinihanti yah, 
atmanah sukham icchan sa pretya naiva sukhl bhavet. 
Sabbe tasanti dandassa, sabbesarh jlvitam piyam, 
attanarh upamam katva na haneyya na ghataye. 

Cf. Jataka, Vol. Ill, p. 292. 

Na naggacariya na ja^a na panka nanasaka thandilasayika va | 
rajo ca jail am ukku^ikappadhanam sodhenti maccam avitinna 

Cf. Divyavadana, p. 339. 
" Hirinisedho puriso koci lokasmi vijjati, 

so nindam appabodhati asso bhadro kasam iva. 

Cf. Uttaradhyayana Sutra, p. 3. 

2 Yani ' mani apatthani alapun'eva sarade 
kftpotakani atthini tani disvana ka rati ? 

Canonical Pali Literature 205 

ness and frail ; this heap of corruption breaks to 
pieces, life ends in death. After a stronghold 
has been made of the bones, it is covered with 
flesh and blood and there dwell in it old age and 
death, pride, and deceit. A man who has learnt 
little grows old ; his flesh grows but his knowledge 
does not grow. Men who have not observed 
proper discipline and have not gained wealth in 
their youth, perish like old herons. Men who have 
not observed proper discipline and have not gained 
wealth in their youth lie like broken bows. 

Chapter XII Attavagga l (Dhammapada, 
pp. 23-25). Let each man direct himself first to 
what is proper, then let him teach others, thus a 
wise man will not suffer. Self is the lord of self, 
who else could be the lord. He whose wickedness 
is very great brings himself down to that state 
where his enemy wishes him to be. It is difficult 
to perform good and beneficial deeds. Bad deeds 
can be easily performed. A fool who scorns the 
rule of the venerable, of the elect, of the virtuous 
and follows a false doctrine, bears fruit to his own 
destruction. Let no one forget his own duty for 
the sake of another however great. 

In the Rudrayanavadana of the Divyavadana this verse 
appears as 

Yanimani apariddhani viksiptani dis"o didah 
Kapotavarnani asthini tani drstvaiha ka ratih. 
The expression * mamsalohitalepanam ' is curiously like that 
used in Manu, VI, 76, mamsaSonitalepanam, and in several passages 
of the Mahabharata, XII, 12462, 12053. Jiranti ve rajaratha sucitta 

pavedayanti." Cf. Jataka, V, 483. 

1 Cf . the first stanza of this vagga with the Brhadaranyaka 
Upauisad, 1, 4, 8 ; 2, 4 ; 4, 5 

Atta hi attano natho ; ko hi natho paro siya ? 
Attana hi sudantena natham labhati dullabham. 

Cf. Gita, Ch. VI. 

" Uddharedatmanatmanam natmanamavasadayet 
atrnaiva hyatmano bandhuratmaiva ripuratmanah 
bandhuratmatmanastasya yenatmaivatmana jitah 
anatmanasthu 6atrutve varttetatmaiva 6atruvat ". 
Attadattham paratthena bahunapi na hapaye of. Bhagavad- 
gita, the translation of the passage in the Bhagavadgita is this: 
" Better one's own dharma, however ill-performed, than others' 
dhanna well -performed tho' it be ". 

206 A History of Pali Literature 

Chapter XIII Lokavagga l (Dhammapada, 
pp. 25-26). One should not follow false doctrine. 
One should follow the law of virtue. He whose 
evil deeds are covered by good deeds brightens up 
this world like the moon. If a man has trans- 
gressed the one law and speaks lies and scoffs at 
another world, there is no evil he will not do. The 
reward of sotapatti is better than sovereignty 
over the earth, going to heaven and lordship over 
all the worlds. 

Chapter XIV Buddhavagga 2 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 27-29). The teaching of the Awakened is not 
to commit any sin, to do good to others, and to 
purify one's own mind. Patience is the highest 
penance and long suffering is the highest Nirvana 
(cf. Dlgha, II, 49). He is not an ascetic who insults 
others. Not to blame, not to strike, to live 
restrained under the law, to be moderate in eating, 
to sleep and sit alone and to dwell on the highest 
thoughts this is the teaching of the Buddha (cf. 
Digha, II, 49; Netti, 43, 81, 171, and 186; Maha- 
vastu, III, 420). The wise people know that lust^ 
have a short taste and cause pain. He who takes 
refuge in the Buddha, the law and the church and he 
who with clear understanding sees the four holv 

C2 . 

truths, namely, suffering, origin of suffering, cessation 
of suffering, and the path leading to its cessation, is 

nappamaj jeyya, dhammam sucaritarh care 

paramhi ca cf. Milinda, 213. 
Harhsadiccapathe yanti 

In Hinduism the Paramaharhsa fc the swan ' is the my stir 
name for the literated being (ef. the Bhagavadgita) who goes to th< 
Sun (aditya) and is reborn no more ; also in Chandyogya Upanisad, 
VIII, 7-5, we read, " when mind ceases to act he attains the Bun. 
That is the way to the region above. It is open to the learned 
but closed to the ignorant." Those who are reborn are said to go 
on the path of the moon. See the Buddha's Path of Virtue by 
F. L. Woodward, p. 43 f.n. 

2 Api dibbesu kamesu ratiih so nadhigacchati, tanhakkhayarato 
hoti sammasambuddhasavako. There is a curious similarity 
between this verse and verse 6503 (9919) of the Santiparva 
" yacca kamasukham loke, yacca dibbarh mahatsukham, trsna 
ksayasukhasyaite narhatah soda&m kalam ". 

Canonical Pali Literature 207 

delivered from all pain. A Buddha is not easily 
found, he is not born anywhere. 

Chapter XV Sukhavagga 1 (Dhanwnapada, 
pp. 30-31). There is no fire like passion, there is 
no losing thread like hatred, there is no pain like 
this body, and there is no happiness higher than 
rest. Hunger is the worst of all diseases, the ele- 
ments of the body, the greatest evil ; if one knows 
this truly, that is Nirvana, the highest happiness. 
Health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness, the 
best riches, trust is the best of relationships, 
Nirvana, the highest happiness (cf. Majjhima, I, 
508, 257 ; Jataka, iii, 196). He who has tasted the 
sweetness of solitude and tranquillity is free from 
fear and sin. The sight of the elect is good, to 
live with them is always happiness ; if a man does 
not see fools, he will be truly happy. Company 
with fools is always painful while the company 
with the wise is delightful. One ought to follow 
the wise, the intelligent, the learned, the much 
enduring, the dutiful, and the elect. 

Chapter X VI Piyavagga (Dhammapada, pp. 31- 
33). Those who love nothing, hate nothing have 
no fetters. From pleasure comes grief, from pleasure 
comes fear, he who is free from pleasure knows 
neither grief nor fear. From affection comes grief 
and from it comes fear ; he who is free from affection 
knows neither grief nor fear. Grief comes from 
lust and from lust comes fear. He who is free 

1 Sustikharh vata jivama yesan no n'atthi kiiicanam, pibibhak- 
kha bhavissama deva iibhassara yatha cf. the words placed in the 
mouth of the king of Videlia while his residence Mithila was in 
flames, which are curiously like this verse. Cf. Mahabharata, 
XII, 9917 Susukham vata jivami yasya me nasti kificana, 
mithilayaih pradlpatayam na me dahyati kincana. 

Jay am veram pasavati, dukkhan seti parajito, 

Upasanto sukharh seti hitva jayaparajayam. 

This verse is ascribed to the Buddha. It exists in the Northern 
or Sanskrit and in the Southern or Pali text, that is, in the 
Avadanadataka and in the Samyutta Nikaya. 

In the AvadanaSataka the Sanskrit version is as follows : 

Yayo vairam prasvati, dukkham ete parajitah 
Upadantah sukham ete hitva jayaparajayam. 

208 A History of Pali Literature 

from lust knows neither grief nor fear. 1 He who 
possesses virtue and intelligence, who is just, speaks 
the truth and does what is his own business, him 
the world will hold dear. 

Chapter XVII Kodhavagga* (Dhammapada, 
pp. 33-34). A man should overcome anger by 
love. Let him overcome evil by good, let him 
overcome the greedy by liberality and the liar by 
truth (cf. Jataka, ii, 4). 

The sages who injure nobody and who always 
control their body will go to Nirvana. Those who 
are watchful, who study day and night, and who 
strive after Nirvana, their passions will come to 
an end. Beware of bodily anger and control your 
body. Beware of the anger of the mind and control 
your mind. The wise who control their body, 
who control their tongue, who control their mind 
are indeed well controlled. 

Chapter X VIII Malavagga 3 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 35-37). When your impurities are removed and 
you are free from guilt, you will enter into the heaven- 
ly world of the elect. You will not enter into the 
birth and decay when your impurities are removed 
and you are free from guilt. Bad conduct is the 
taint of woman, niggardliness, the taint of a bene- 

1 Cf. Kathopanisad, 61. 14, 3 valll. 

2 The idea conveyed in the first stanza of this vagga is similar 
to the idea found in the Mundakopaiiisad, 61. 8, 3rd Mundaka, pt. 

3 Akase padam n'atthi, samano n'atthi bahire, 
papaficabhirata paja, nippapanca Tathagata. 
Akase padam n'atthi, samano n'atthi bahire, 
Sankhara sassata n'atthi, n'atthi Buddhanarh injitam. 

In the story of Subhadda the wanderer (Dh. Commy., Ill, 
p. 378) who came to see the Master on his death-bed, he asked 
these three questions : ' Is there any track in space ? Is there any 
(real) recluse in the outer world ? Are the constituents (of 
existence) eternal ? These gathas were the answer. 

In the canonical account (Digha N., II, 150) he only asked 
whether the leaders of heretical sects had true knowledge. The 
Master put aside the question and said that outside the eightfold 
way (in four degrees) there were no real samanas or recluses. See 
the Buddha's Path of Virtue, pp. 62-63. So karohi dlpam attano ; 

khlppam vayama, pandito bhava ehisi. (cf. Chandogya 

Upanisad, 3, 13, 7 ; Kaihopanisad, 5, 15). 


Canonical Pali Literature 209 

factor, tainted are all evil ways in this world and 
in the next. Ignorance is the greatest taint. The 
monks should throw off that taint and become 
taintless. Life is easy to live for a man who is 
without shame. It is hard to live for a modest 
man, who always looks for what is pure, disinterested, 
quiet, spotless, and intelligent. He who destroys 
life, who speaks untruth, who in the world takes 
what is not given him, who goes to another man's 
wife, who gives himself to drinking intoxicating 
liquors, he digs up his own root. There is no fire 
like passion, no shark like hatred, no snare like 
folly, and no torrent like greed. It is easy to find 
out the fault of others but it is difficult to find one's 
own fault. If a man looks after the faults of 
others and is always inclined to be offended, his own 
passions will grow and he cannot destroy them. 
The Buddhas are free from vanity. A man cannot 
become a samana outwardly. 

Chapter XIX Dhammatthavagga (Dhamma- 
pada, pp. 38-39). A man is not learned because 
he talks much. He who is patient, free from hatred 
and fear is learned. A man is not a supporter of 
the law because he talks much. If he has learnt 
little but sees the law, he is a supporter of the law, 
he never neglects the law. A man is not an elder 
because his head is grey and his age may be ripe. 
He in whom there are truth, virtue, piety, restraint, 
moderation, he who is free from impurity and is 
wise, he is called an elder. An envious, stingy 
and dishonest man does not become respectable 
by means of much talking only or by the beauty of 
his complexion. He in whom all this is destroyed, 
and taken out with the very root, he, when freed 
from hatred and wise is called respectable. He 
who always quits the evil, whether small or large, 
is called a samana because he has quitted all evils. 
He who follows the whole law is a bhikkhu, not he 
who only begs. He who is above good and evil, 
who is chaste, who with care passes through the 
world, is called a bhikkhu. A man is not a muni 


210 A History of Pali Literature 

because he observes silence. A muni is one who 
chooses the good and avoids the evil. A man is 
not an elect because he injures living creatures. 
He who has obtained the extinction of desires has 
obtained confidence. 

Chapter XX Maggavagga l (Dhammapada, 
pp. 40-42). The best of ways is the eight linked 
one ; the best of truths the four words ; the best of 
virtues passionlessness ; the best of men is he who 
has eyes to see. The Buddhas only point out the 
way. You have got to exert. The thoughtful 
who enter the way are freed from the bondage of 
Mara. All created things perish he who knows 
and sees this becomes passive in pain. This is the 
way to purity. All created tilings are grief and 
pain he who knows and sees this becomes passive 
in pain. This is the way leading to purity. All 
forms are unreal he who knows and sees this 
becomes passive in pain. This is the way leading 
to purity. A lazy and slothful man never finds the 
way to knowledge. Through zeal knowledge is 
acquired. So long as the desire of man towards 
women even the smallest is not destroyed, so long 
is his mind in bondage. 

Chapter XXI Pakinnakaragga (Dhammapada, 
pp. 42-44). If by leaving a small pleasure one sees 
a great pleasure, let a wise man leave the small 
pleasure and look to the great. He who by causing 
pain to others wishes to obtain pleasure for himself, 
he entangled in the bonds of hatred will never be 
freed from hatred. The desires of unruly and 
thoughtless people are always increasing. A true 
Brahmana goes scatheless though he has killed his 
father and mother and two valiant kings, though 

1 Etamhi tumhe pat-ipaiina dukkhass 'antarh karissatha, 
akkhato ve maya maggo afmaya sallasanthanam. 

The thorns are the stings arid torments of passion. The 
Buddha has been called the " Great-thorn -remover ", Lalitavistara, 
p. 650 ; see Mr. Woodward's The Buddha's Path of Virtue, p. 68. 

" Sabbe sankhara anicca esa maggo visuddhiya ; cf. Thera- 

gatha, 676-678 ; Brhadaranyaka Upanisad, 4. 4, 8. 

Canonical Fali Literature 211 

he has destroyed a kingdom with all its subjects. 
The disciples of the Buddha Gotama are always 
wide awake and their thoughts day and night are 
always set on the Buddha. Their thoughts are 
always set on the law and on the church. Their 
mind always delights in compassion. It is hard to 
leave the world, to enjoy the world, hard is the 
monastery, painful are the houses, painful it is to 
dwell with equals and the itinerant mendicant is 
beset with pain. A man full of faith if endowed 
with virtue and glory is respected everywhere. 
Good people shine from afar like the snowy mountains 
and bad people are not seen like arrows shot by 
night. Sitting alone, lying down alone, walking 
alone without ceasing and alone subduing himself, 
let a man be happy near the edge of a forest. 1 

Chapter XXII Nirayavagga (Dhammapada, 
pp. 11 46). Many men whose shoulders are covered 
with the yellow gown are ill-conditioned and un- 
restrained. Such evil-doers on account of their 
evil deeds go to hell. A reckless man who covets 
his neighbour's wife gains demerit, an uncomfortable 
bed, punishment and hell. Let no man think of 
his neighbour's wife. Badly practised asceticism 
leads to hell. An act carelessly performed, a 
broken vow, and hesitating obedience to discipline 
all this brings no great reward. An evil deed is 
better than an act left undone for a man repents for 
it afterwards. A good deed is better done, for 
having done it, one does not repent. They who 
are ashamed of what they ought not to be ashamed 
of, and are not ashamed of what they ought to be 
ashamed of, such men embracing false doctrines 
enter the evil path. They who fear when they 
ought not to fear and fear not when they ought to 
fear, such men embracing false doctrines enter the 
evil path. They who see sin where there is no 
sin and see no sin where there is sin, such men 

1 Matararh pitaram hantva. . . . brahmano (294 verse) cf. Netti- 
pakarana, 105. 

212 A History of Pali Literature 

embracing false doctrines enter the evil path. They 
who see sin where there is sin and no sin where 
there is no sin, such men embracing the true doctrine 
enter the good path. 1 

Chapter XXIII Ndgavagga 2 (Dhammapada, 
pp. 46-48). The best among men is one who is 
tamed and is one who silently endures abuse. If a 
man finds a prudent companion who walks with 
him, is wise and lives soberly, he may walk with 
him overcoming all dangers, happy, and consider- 
ate. It is better to live alone. One should not 
associate himself with a fool. Pleasant is attain- 
ment of intelligence and pleasant is avoidance of 

Chapter XXIV Tanhdvagga* (Dhammapada, 
pp. 48-52). The thirst of a thoughtless man grows 
like a creeper.* One should dig up the root of thirst. 
Men undergo birth and decay repeatedly if given 
up to pleasure and deriving happiness. Beset with 
lust men run about like a snared hare. Those who 
are slaves to passion run down the stream of desires. 
If one's own mind is altogether free from thirst, he 
will not be subject to continued births and destruc- 
tions. He who is free from thirst and affection, 
who understands the words and their interpretations, 
who knows the order of letters, he lias received 
his last body, he is called the great sage, the great 

1 Kuso yatha dugjrahito hattham cvanukantati. . . . upakaddhati 
(Verse, 311). Cf. Samyutta, N., I, 49. 

2 Appamadarata hotha, sacittam anurakkhatha. . . .kunjaro 
(Verse, 327). Cf. Milinda, 379. 

3 Sabbabhibhu sabbavidu'haih asihi, dliammesu anii- 
palitto, sabbanjaho tanhakkhaye vimutto, .sayaih abhiiiiiaya kam 
uddiseyyazh ? 

This was the reply of the Buddha to one Upaka who, struck 
by the Master's radiance after attaining Nibbana, enquired who 
was his teacher and what was the cause of his joy. 

Cf. Majjhima Nikaya, I, 171 ; see Woodword's The Buddha's 
Path of Virtue, p. 88. 

4 Yathapi mule anupaddave dalhe chinno pi rukkho punar eva 
ruhati punappunam. 

Cf. Nettipakarana, 42 ; cf. Mundakopanisad, 
6l. 2, third Mundaka, pt. II. " Kanian yah kamayate manya- 
manah sa kamabhiryayate yatra tatra " 

Canonical Pali Literature 213 

man. The gift of the law exceeds all gifts, the 
delight in the law exceeds all delights, and the 
extinction of thirst overcomes all pain. Mankind is 
ruined by passion. Therefore a gift bestowed on 
the passionless brings great reward. Mankind is 
ruined by hatred. Therefore, a gift bestowed on 
those who do not hate, brings great reward. Man- 
kind is ruined by vanity and lust. Therefore, a 
gift bestowed on those who are free from vanity 
and lust, brings great reward. 

Chapter XX V Bhikkhuvagga (Dhammapada, 
pp. 52-55). He is a bhikkhu (monk) who controls 
his hand, feet, and speech. He is well controlled. 
A bhikkhu controls his mouth, speaks wisely and 
calmly, and teaches the meaning and the law. He 
dwells in the law, finds delight in it, meditates on 
it, and recollects it. A bhikkhu does not pay any 
attention to several pleasures. A bhikkhu possesses 
the following qualities, e.g., watchfulness over the 
senses, contentedness, restraint under the law. He 
should keep the company of noble friends whose 
life is pure and who are not slothful. A bhikkhu 
should be perfect in his duties. The bhikkhu whose 
body, tongue, and mind are quieted, who is collected 
and has rejected the baits of the world is called 
quiet. The bhikkhu full of delight, who is happy 
in the doctrine of the Buddha, will obtain Nirvana. 
He who even as a young bhikkhu applies himself 
to the doctrine of the Buddha brightens up this 
world like the moon when free from clouds. 

Chapter XX VI Brahmdnavagga 1 (Dha/mmapada, 
pp. 55-60). He who is thoughtful, blameless, 
settled, dutiful, free from passion and who has 
attained the highest end is a Brahmana. No one 
should attack a Brahmana but no Brahmana 
should let himself fly at his aggressor. He who does 

1 Read the first stanza of this varga and cf. it with the 
Brhadaranyakopanishad, 4, 4, 7 

" Yada sarve pramucyante kamaye'syahrdidritah atha 
martto'mrto bhavatyatra Brahma sama&rate." 

214 A History of Pali Literature 

not offend by body, word, or thought and is con- 
troDed on these three points is a Brahmana. A man 
does not become a Brahmana by his platted hair, 
by his family, or by birth ; in whom there are truth 
and righteousness, he is blessed, he is a Brahmana. 
The man who wears dirty raiments, who is emac- 
iated and covered with veins, who meditates 
alone in the forest is called a Brahmana. A person 
is called a Brahmana who is free from bonds and 

attachments. A Brahmana endures reproach, 
stripes, and bonds. He knows the end of his own 
suffering. He does not kill nor cause slaughter. 
He is a Brahmana who is tolerant with the in- 
tolerant, mild with the violent and free from greed 
among the greedy. A Brahmana is he who utters 
true speech, instructive and free from harshness. 
He is not a Brahmana who fosters no desires for 

this world or for the next. He is a Brahmana 
who in this world has risen above ties, good, and 
evil, who is free from grief, sin, and impurity. A 
Brahmana is pure, serene, undisturbed, and bright 
like the moon. He has abandoned all desires. 
He is a hero who has conquered all the worlds. 
He is a Brahmana who knows the destruction and 

return of beings everywhere, who is free from 
bondage, the blessed, and the enlightened. He is a 
Brahmana whose passions are extinct, who calls 
nothing his own, the manly, the noble, the hero, 
the great sage, the conqueror, the indifferent, the 
accomplished, and the awakened. A Brahmana is 
he who knows his former abodes, sees heaven and 
hell, has reached the end of births, is perfect in 
knowledge, a sage, and whose perfections are all 
perfect. 1 

The verses of the Dhammapada are compiled 
from various sources but nowhere do we find any 
mention of the authorship of each of the verses. 

1 Yassa kayena vacaya manasa n'atthi dukkatam tarn 

aham brumi brahmanam, cf. Netti 183. Na caham brahmanam 
briimr y.onijam mattisambhavam . . . .brahmanam, cf. Uttaradhya- 
yana SStra, p. 14. 

Canonical Pali Literature 215 

The verses are mostly detached. The majority of 
verses is found in other canonical texts. The 
arrangement seems to be arbitrary. The chapter 
on miscellany, for instance, stands in the middle 
instead of coming at the end. The language of the 
work is smooth and appears to be similar to that 
of the gathas. The inflexion of words is perfectly 
regular and rare are the irregularities caused by 
metrical exigencies here and there. The syntax is 
easy. Two metres, anustup, and trishtup, are used. 
The verses are charming to sympathetic readers, 
and their import is intelligible throughout. Happy 
similes chosen from every day life have beautified 
the style, the striking feature whereof is the use of 
contrast, made to show the bright as well as the 
dark sides of the same questions in parallel language. 
In the time of the Mahavihara fraternity a thorough 
knowledge of the Dhammapada and its commentary 
entitled students of Pali literature to the popular 
degree called " Khuddakabhanaka ". The language 
is chaste, elegant, and sometimes simple. The verses 
are full of similes. The chapters on Bhikkhu and 
Brahmana are worth studying. A good idea of 
nirvana can be gathered by going through some of 
the verses of this work. It is still highly esteemed 
in Ceylon as a classical work and is used as a text- 
book for novices who can gain the higher ordination 
or upasampada on proving their thorough under- 
standing of the Dhammapada text and its com- 
mentary. It is indispensable to students of 

There are, strictly speaking, five recensions of 

the Dhammapada, viz. (1) the 

Pali Dhammapada, Pali, (2) the Prakrit, (3) the mixed 

2? tt. D oZ2' Fa 6 ' Sanskrit which is supposed to have 

kheu-king compared. been the original of the Chinese 

Fa-kheu-king, but which, however, 
is no longer extant, (4) the Sanskrit which com- 
prises, in the first instance, the original _of the 
Chinese version of the Dhammapada 
in the Ch'uh-yau-king, and in the secj 


216 A History of Pali Literature 

the Udanavarga, another Sanskrit Dhammapada. 
The Ch'uh-yau-king seems to have been, as implied 
by its title, a Dhammapada commentary rather 
than a Dhammapada text. The (5) fifth is the 
Fa-kheu-king, which is a Chinese recension in 
translation, which has been rendered into English 
by Samuel Beal. 

The Pali Dhammapada is the best known and 
the most complete, and has been edited and 
translated in several languages. The Prakrit 
Dhammapada is preserved only in one fragmentary 
manuscript in Kharosthi discovered in Khotan ; but 
as the record is most incomplete it is impossible to 
say exactly what its contents had been (Barua and 
Mitra, Prakrit Dhammapada, p. viii). 

The existence of the mixed Sanskrit original is 
known only from the Chinese Fa-kheu-king, and 
does not, therefore, come into our account. The 
Fa-kheu-king, according to Mr. Beal, is more than a 
faithful translation of the Indian text which the 
monk Wei-chi-lan carried from India to China in 
223 A.D. (Seal's Dhammapada, p. 35). The 
Chinese translator has added and altered the dis- 
tribution of the verses according to his will. The 
existence of the original of the Chinese version of 
the Dhammapada incorporated in the Ch'uh-yau- 
king is known only from the translator's preface, 
but is no longer extant. Rockhill, however, identi- 
fies the Dhammapada text in the Ch'uh-yau-king 
with the Udanavarga (RockhilPs Udanavarga, p. x), 
which is again another Dhammapada text in pure 
classical Sanskrit. A fragmentary manuscript of 
this text in a later variety of the Gupta script has 
been found at Turfan. The Dharmapada has also 
been quoted in the Mahavastu in the shape of a 
whole chapter, the Sahasravarga containing 24 
stanzas (Senart, Mahavastu, III, p. 434 " dharma- 
padesu sahasravargah "). 

To take the Pali Dhammapada first into 
consideration the following table may easily be 
provided with regard to its chapters and verses : 

Canonical Pali Literature 217 

Title of chapter, Pali Dhammapada Number 

of verses 

1. Yamakavagga (Twin verses) . . 20 

2. Appamadavagga (on Earnestness) . . 12 

3. Cittavagga (Mind verses) . . 11 

4. Pupphavagga (Flower verses) . . 16 

5. Balavagga (on the Fool) . . 16 

6. Panditavagga (on the Wise) . . 14 

7. Arahantavagga (on the Arhant) . . 10 

8. Sahassavagga (Number verses) . . 16 

9. Papavagga (on the Evil) . . 13 

10. Dandavagga (on Punishment) . . 17 

11. Jaravagga (on the Old Age) . . 11 

12. Attavagga (on the Self) . . . . 10 

13. Lokavagga (on the World) . . 12 

14. Buddhavagga (on the Buddha) . . 18 

15. Sukhavagga (on Happiness) . . 12 

16. Piyavagga (on the Agreeable) . . 12 

17. Kodhavagga (on Anger) .. ..14 

18. Malavagga (on Impurity) . . 21 

19. Dhammatthavagga (on the Just) . . 17 

20. Maggavagga (on the Way) . . 17 

21. Pakinnakavagga (miscellaneous verses) 16 

22. Nirayavagga (on Hell) . . . . 14 

23. Nagavagga (on the Elephant) . . 14 

24. Tanhavagga (on Desire) . . 26 

25. Bhikkhuvagga (on the Bhikkhu) .. 23 

26. Brahmanavagga (on the Brahmanas) 41 

423 vv. 

The chapters and verses of the Prakrit Dhamma- 
pada as they occur in the arrangement provided by 
Barua and Mitra in supersession of those of M. Senart 
are as follows (Prakrit Dhammapada, p. viii, 
Intro.) : 

Corresponding chapters of the 

Orders of Titles of chapters with Pali Dhammapada with 
chapters number of verses number of verses 

1 Magavaga (30) 20. Maggavagga (17) 

V-7 tX * " i+*S\*J C^tJ ^ / 

2 Apramadavaga (25) 2. Appamadavagga (12) 

3 Citavaga (5, incomplete) 3. Cittavagga (11) 

218 A History of Pali Literature 

Corresponding chapters of the 

Orders of Titles of chapters with Pali Dhammapada with 
chapters number of verses number of verses 

4 Pu^avaga (15) 4. Pupphavagga (16) 

5 Sahasavaga (17) 8. Sahassavagga (16) 

6 Panitavaga or Dhama- 6. Panditavagga (14) 

thavaga (10) 19. Dhammatthavagga (17) 

7 Balavaga (7, incomplete) 5. Balavagga (16) 

8 Jaravaga (25) 11. Jaravagga (11) 

9 Suhavaga (20, almost 15. Sukhavagga (12) 


10 Tasavaga (7, incomplete) 24. Tanhavagga (26) 

11 Bhikhuvaga (40) 25. Bhikkhuvagga (23) 

12 Bramanavaga (50 ?) 26. Brahmanavagga (41) 

From the table given above, it is apparent that 
a complete record of the Prakrit text has not been 
recovered so that it is impossible to say exactly 
how many chapters and verses the text contained. 
It is equally difficult to ascertain the arrangement 
of its chapters from detached plates and fragments 
on which Mon. Senart's edition is based (Barua 
and Mitra, Prakrit Dhammapada, p. viii, Intro.). 

Fa-kheu-king, the Chinese Recension referred 
to above, has, as we have already noticed on the 
authority of the Chinese translator, altered the 
number and distribution of the verses in the original. 
But the translator has done something more ; he 
has added thirteen new chapters in Chinese, in 
addition to the existing 26 of the Pali Dhammapada, 
making up a total of 39 chapters and 752 verses. 

Corresponding chapters of 

Titles of chapters in order the Pali Dhammapada 
with number of verses in order with number 

of verses 

1. Impermanence (21) . . .... 

2. Insight into wisdom (29) .... 

3. The Sravaka (19) .. 

4. Simple faith (18) . . 

5. Observance of Duty (16) .... 

6. Reflection (12) .. .... 

7. Loving kindness (19) .... 

8. Conversation (12) .. .... 

Canonical Pali Literature 219 

Corresponding chapters of 

Titles of chapters in order the Pali Dhammapada 
with number of verses in order with number 

of verses 

9. Twin verses (22) . . 1. Yamakavagga (20) 

10. Earnestness (20) . . 2. Appamadavagga (12) 

11. On Mind (12) .. 3. Cittavagga (11) 

12. On Flower (17) . . 4. Pupphavagga (16) 

13. On the Fool (21) .. 5. Balavagga (16) 

14. On the Wise (17) . . 6. Panditavagga (14) 

15. On the Arahant (10) 7. Arahantavagga (10) 
16 Number verses (16) . . 8. Sahassavagga (16) 

17. On Evil (22) . . 9. Papavagga (13) 

18. On Punishment (14) 10. Dandavagga (17) 

19. On Old Age (14) .. 11. Jaravagga (11) 

20. On Self (14) . . 12. Attavagga (10) 

21. On the World (14) .. 13. Lokavagga (12) 

22. On the Buddha (21).. 14. Buddhavagga (18) 

23. On Happiness (14) .. 15. Sukhavagga (12) 

24. On the Agreeable (12) 16. Piyavagga (12) 

25. On Anger (26) .. 17. Kodhavagga (14) 

26. On Impurity (19) .. 18. Malavagga (21) 

27. On the Just (17) . . 19. Dhammatthavagga 


28. On the Way (28) .. 20. Maggavagga (17) 

29. Miscellaneous verses 21. Pakinnavagga (16) 


30. On Hell (16) . . 22. Nirayavagga (14) 

31. On Elephant (18) . . 23. Nagavagga (14) 

32. On Desire (32) . . 24. Tanhavagga (26) 

33. Advantageous Service .... 


34. On the Bhikkhus (32) 25. Bhikkhuvagga (23) 

35. On the Brahmanas (40) 26. Brahmanavagga (41) 

36. Nirvana (36) . . .... 

37. Birth and Death (18) 

38. Profit of Religion (19) 

39. Good Fortune (19) .. 

About the first and the last two chapters of 
the Fa-kheu-king, a word of comment is necessary. 

220 A History of Pali Literature 

The last chapter on Good Fortune may be regarded, 
as has already been pointed out (Beal, Dhammapada, 
p. 208), as a translation of some Indian recension 
of the Mangala Sutta, whereas the chapter on 
Profit of Religion ' appears to be a translation of 
some Indian recension of the Mahamangala Jataka 
(Prakrit Dhammapada, p. xiv Introduction). Most 
of the verses of the first chapter on Impermanence and 
the nineteenth chapter on Old Age can be traced in 
chapter 8 (Jaravaga) of the Prakrit Dhammapada, 
as also in the first chapter of the Udanavarga 
dealing with Impermanence. Chapter 3 on the 
Sravaka, and chapter 8 on conversation have 
striking parallels in corresponding chapters of the 

It has already been mentioned that the Udana- 
varga is a Dhammapada text in classical Sanskrit 
of which a fragmentary manuscript in a later variety 
of the Gupta script has been found at Turf an. The 
Tibetan version (The Tibetan translation was made 
during the reign of King Ral-pa-chan A.D. 817- 
842; Rockhill, Udanavarga, Intro., pp. xi-xii) of 
this manuscript has been translated by Rockhill 
under the title of Udanavarga. Pischel gives us a 
table which illustrates the comparativeness of the 
Tibetan and Sanskrit versions of the Dhammapada 
with that of the Pali text. 

Sanskrit Dhammapada Tibetan version of Pali Dhamr/mpada 

or Udanavarga with the, Sanskrit with chapters 

chapters in order Dhammapada or and number of 

and number of Udanavarga with verses 
verses chapters and 

no. of verses 

Chap. II. 20. II. 20. 

V. 27. V. 28. XVI. 12. 

VIII. 15. VIII. 15. 

XVI. 24. XVI. 23. XXL 16. 

XX. 22. XX. 21. XVII. 14. 
XXIX. 57. 

(66 or 65?). XXIX. 59. I. 20. 

XXX. 51 (52). XXX. 53. XV. 12. 

XXXI. 60. XXXI. 64. III. 11. 

Canonical Pali Literature 221 

The multiplication of verses in several chapters 
of the Prakrit Dhammapada (Chapters 1, 2, 5, 8, 
9, 11, and 12) in addition to those already existing 
in the Pali text is due to different causes and cir- 
cumstances. The Prakrit text contains some 
verses that might have evidently been compiled 
from canonical sources unknown to or untouched 
by the compiler of the Pali text. Some verses 
may similarly be regarded as independent composi- 
tions of its own compiler. Still there are other 
verses which may be regarded as mere amplifications 
of some existing and well-known verses, or presenta- 
tion of old verses of the Pali text in a garb of new 
expressions. The same remark can equally be applied 
to the multiplication of verses in the Fa-kheu-king 
original and the Udanavarga (For instances of 
multiplication of verses and its significance, see 
Prakrit Dhammapada, Intro., p. xxxi) with regard 
to the corresponding chapters of the Pali Dhamma- 

As we have already noticed, the Fa-kheu-king 
original has 26 chapters out of 39 in common with 
the Pali Dhammapada. The remaining 13 chapters 
were undoubtedly added later on by the translator 
of the Sanskrit original. It has already been pointed 
out above that some of these additional chapters 
were drawn upon some already existing Buddhist 
texts. But a closer scrutiny shows that the translator 
of the original made use of one Pali Buddhist Text 
namely, the Sutta Nipata, more than any other in 
the composition of the additional chapters. The 
chapters on Impermanency, Insight into wisdom, 
the Disciple, simple faith, love, words, and finally, 
good fortune have very close similarities respectively 
with the Salla Sutta, Utthana Sutta, Cunda Sutta, 

" 7 * 

Alavaka Sutta, Metta Sutta, Subhasita Sutta, and 
the Mahamangala Sutta of the Sutta Nipata. Like 
the additional chapters, the 26 common chapters 
of the Pali Dhammapada and the Fa-kheu-king 
original had their common canonical source in the 
Sutta Nipata as we now have it. 

222 A History of Pali Literature 

The Udanavarga, however, contains 33 chapters 
which is equal to that of the text portion of the 
original of the Ch'uh-yau-king. They have evidently 
26 chapters in common with the Pali text ; only 
seven are later additions which were probably based 
upon certain poems of works similar to the Sutta 
Nipata, the Dhammapada, and the Jataka book 
(Prakrit Dhammapada, Intro., p. xxx). 

The Sutta Nipata and the Jataka book may also 
be said to have served as the canonical sources of 
some of the additional verses of the Prakrit Dhamma- 
pada as well (Barua and Mitra, Prakrit Dhamma- 
pada, Intro., p. xxx). 

In the Appamadavagga it is said that earnest- 
idea of Nibbana in ness is the path of immortality 

the Dhammapada. an( J tllOUglltleSSneSS the path of 

death (cf. Appamado amatapadaiii, pamado maccimo 
padam), and those wise people who delight in 
earnestness and rejoice in the knowledge of the 
Ariyas and who are meditative, steady, and always 
possessed of strong powers, attain to Nibbana, the 
highest happiness (cf. Te jhayino satatika niccaiii 
dalhaparakkama, Phusaiiti dhira iiibbanam yogak- 
khemam anuttaram). In the same vagga it is 
further said that a bhikkhu who delights in reflection, 
who looks with fear on thoughtlessness, cannot fall 
away (from his perfect state) he is close upon 
Nibbana (cf. Appamadarato bhikkhu Pamade bhaya- 
dassiva abhabbo parihanaya nibbanass'eva santike). 

In the Balavagga it is said that the paths to 
the acquisition of wealth and to the attainment of 
Nibbana are quite different, and that if one wishes 
to win Nibbana he should strive after separation 
from the world (cf. Anna hi labhupanisa, anna 
nibbanagamim, evam etam abhinnaya, bhikkhu 
Buddhassa savako sakkaram nabhinandeyya, 
vivekam anubruhaye). 

In the Buddhavagga it is said that the Buddha 
calls patience the highest penance and long suffering 
the highest Nibbana (cf. Khanti paramam tapo 
titikkha, nibbanam paramam vadanti Buddha). 

Canonical Pali Literature 223 

In the Sukhavagga it is said that hunger is 
the worst of diseases, the elements of the body the 
greatest evil ; if one knows this truly, that is Nibbana 
(cf. jigacchaparama roga sankhara parama dukkha, 
etam natva yathabhutam, nibbanam paramam 
sukham). In the same vagga it is also said that 
health is the greatest of gifts, contentedness the best 
riches ; trust is the best of relationships, and Nibbana 
is the highest happiness (cf. Arogyaparama labha, 
santutthi paramam dhanam, vissasaparama nati, 
nibbanam paramam sukham). 

In the Kodhavagga it is said that those who 
are ever watchful, who study day and night, and 
who strive after Nibbana, their passions will come 
to an end (cf. Sada jagaramananam, ahoratta- 
nusikkhinam nibbanam adhimuttanam, attham 
gacchanti asava). 

In the Magga vagga (cf. Etam atthavasam 
fiatva pandito silasamvuto, nibbanagamanam 
maggam khipparii eva visodliaye), the way to the 
attainment of Nibbana has been described. He who 
knows that all created things perish and lead to 
grief and pain, that all forms are unreal, that 
one should be well restrained in speech, mind, and 
body, and that one should shake off lust and desire 
and cut out the love of self, is sure to win Nibbana. 

In the Bhikkhuvagga it is said that without 
knowledge there is no meditation, without medita- 
tion there is no knowledge ; he who has knowledge 
and meditation is near unto Nibbana (cf. Natthi 
jhanam apafmassa paiina natthi ajjliayato, yamhi 
jlianam ca paiina ca, sa ve mbbanasantike). 

The Dhammapada was first published in 

Different editions Roman characters by Fausboll in 
and translations of 1885, a second edition appearing 

tho Dhammapada. ^ ^QQ The twQ editions were 

exhausted, necessitating another edition. Suriya 
Sumangala Thcra undertook the task of editing the 
Dhammapada under the auspices of the P.T.S. in 
1914 ; his work was based on two Sinhalese edi 
one Burmese edition, one Siamese edition. 

224 A History of Pali Literature 

FausbolFs second edition. The editor acknowledges 
to have consulted the ancient Sinhalese glossary 
to the Dhammapada commentary which was 
written by Aba Salamevan Kasup V (Abhaya 
Sflameghavanna Kassapa), king of Ceylon, who 
flourished in 929-939 A.D. Dr. Dines Andersen's 
glossary of the words of the Dhammapada is an 
invaluable aid to the study of this text. This 
book is so widely studied that there are four German 
translations, two English translations, two French 
translations, and one Italian translation. They are 
as follows : 

1. German translation by Weber (Z.D.M.G., 

14, 1860, and Indische Studien, Vol. I, 

2. German translation by L. V. Schroder 

(Worte der Wahrheit, Leipzig, 1892). 

3. German translation by K. E. Neumann 

(Der Wahrheitspfad, Leipzig, 1893). 

4. German translation (Der Pfad der Lehre, 

Neu-Buddhistischen, Verlag, Zehlen 
dorf west bei Berlin, 1919). 

5. English translation by Max Muller, S. B. E. , 

Vol. X. 

6. English translation by F. L. Woodward 

(The Buddha's Path of Virtue, Theo- 
sophical Pub. House, Madras, 1929). 

7. French translation by Fernand Hu (Paris, 

1878), known as Le Dhammapada, 
avec introduction et notes. 

8. Italian translation by P. E. Pavolini 

(Mailand, 1908). 

9. English translation by A. J. Edmunds. 

10. by Wagiswara and 

11. A re-translation from German by " Sila- 

chara " (London). 

There is a literal Lathi translation of the work 
by V. Fausboll, who has also edited this text. 
There is another French translation by R. et M. 

Canonical Pali Literature 225 

De Moratray. Mrs. Rhys Davids has re-edited and 
translated the Dhammapada in the S.B.B. Series 
under the title of the " Minor Anthologies of the 
Pali Canon ", Pt. I, 1931. 

There is a Chinese translation of this work by 
S. Beal. Dr. B. M. Barua and Mr. S. N. Mitra 
have jointly edited the Khrosthi recension of this 
work which has been published by the University 
of Calcutta. The work has been translated by many 
Indian scholars, e.g., Srikhande, 1 Rai Bahadur 
Sarat Chunder Das, C.I.E., Charu Chandra Bose. 
There are other copies of the Dhammapada in 
mixed Sanskrit and Sanskrit, for instance, the 
Mahavastu preserves in quotation the sahasravarga 
of a Dhammapada in mixed Sanskrit. There are 
two recensions of the Udanavarga, the manuscripts 
of which have been found out in Eastern Turkisthan 
in several fragments and a full and critical edition 
of it prepared by Dr. N. P. Chakravarty is now 
passing through the press. The latest copy of the 
Dhammapada, the Dharmasamuccaya, is entirely 
based on an earlier anthology called Mahasmrityu- 
pasthana Vaipulya Sutra and is composed of some 
2,600 gathas. L'Apramadavarga, edited by S. Levi 
with a valuable study of the recensions of the 
Dhammapada published in the J.A., t. XX, 1912, 
deserves mention. 

The Udana 2 or solemn utterances of the Buddha 
TTJ _ is the third book. It is a treatise 

1 1 fi An A 

containing Buddhist stories and 
sentences. It is divided into eight vaggas or 
chapters : (1) Bodhivagga, (2) Mucalindavagga, 
(3) Nandavagga, (4) Meghiyavagga, (5) Sonatheras- 
savagga, (6) Jaccandhavagga, (7) Culavaggo, and 
(8) Pataligamiyavaggo. 

1 The text of the Dhammapada in Devanagari with notes, 
introduction, and translation published by the Oriental Book Supply- 
ing Agency, Poona, 1923. 

2 Vide Udanavarga translated from the Tibetan Bkah-hgyur 
with notes and extracts from the commentary of Pradjnavarman 
by W. W. Rockhill, London, 1883. 


226 A History of Pali Literature 

The style of the work is very simple. In this 
little work, the Buddha is represented as having 
given vent to his emotions or feelings on various 
occasions in one or two lines of poetry. These 
outbursts are concise and of an enigmatic nature. 
Subtle points of arhatship and the Buddhist ideal 
of life have also been dealt with. Several suttas 
(pp. 87, 89, 92, 93) are found in the Mahavagga 
and the Cullavagga of the Vinaya Pitaka and the 
Mahaparinibbana Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya of 
the Sutta Pitaka. Each sutta is concluded by an 
udana (ecstatic utterance) of the Buddha, com- 
posed for the most part in ordinary metres (sloka, 
Tristubh or Jagati), seldom in prose as Dr. Paul 
Steinthal points out in the preface to the Udana 
which has been edited by him for the P.T.S., 

Some knottical points of Buddhism have been 
discussed in it, e.g., Salvation or deliverance, 
Nirvana, four unthinkables, life after death, karma, 
evolution, the cosmos, and heaven and hell. 

Dr. Windisch has published an interesting paper, 
" Notes on the edition of the Udana " (P.T.S., 
1885) in the J.P.T.S., 1930, which is worth perusal. 
Major-General D. M. Strong has translated this 
book from Pali into English. The translation is 
published by Messrs. Luzac & Co., London. Udana 
extracts translated into German by K. E. Neumann 
in his Buddhistische Anthologie, Leiden, 1892, deserve 

Manuscripts available are 

(1) Manuscript of the India Office in Burmese 


(2) Manuscript presented to the Bible Society 

by the Thera S. Sonuttara of Kandy in 
Sinhalese character. 

(3) Mandalay manuscript used by Dr. 


A brief summary of the chapters of the text 
is given below. 

Canonical Pali Literature 227 

Chapter I The Enlightenment (Uddna, P.T.S., 
pp. 1-9). The first chapter deals with some in- 
cidents that occurred soon after the enlightenment 
of the Buddha. The Lord thought out the chain 
of cause and effect in both the direct and indirect 
orders. He discussed about the right standard of 
conduct required of a Brahmana and the nature of 
the works he should perform. According to the 
Buddha the only ideal worth striving after is the 
ideal of a perfect life, in this present world, in 
saintship and this ideal is to be reached by emancipa- 
tion from desire (tanha). 

Chapter II Muaalinda (Uddna, pp. 10-20). 
The second chapter also deals with certain incidents 
that occurred subsequent to the attainment of 
Buddhahood. Mucalinda, the serpent king, forms 
with his hood a great canopy above the head of 
the Buddha and protects him from great cloud 
that has appeared. The Master exhorts the bhikkhus 
that they should not be engaged in trifling disputes, 
such as, whether the king Bimbisara of Magadha 
is the wealthiest or the king Pasenadi of Kosala, etc. 

Chapter IIlNanda (Uddna, pp. 21-33). The 
venerable Nanda, a cousin of the Buddha, intends 
to abandon the precepts and return to the lower 
life. The Lord convinces Nanda of the worthless- 
ness of the worldly life and the sorrows connected 
with it. Nanda finding joy in the state of home- 
lessness does not revert to the worldly life. 

Chapter IV Meghiya (Uddna, pp. 3446). 
The venerable Meghiya is the servitor of the Blessed 
One. Disregarding Buddha's advice he goes to the 
delightful Grove of Mango-trees on the banks of the 
Kiiimkala river in order to struggle and strive after 
' holiness '. But he is constantly assailed by three 
kinds of evil thoughts, e.g., lustful thoughts, 
malicious thoughts, and cruel thoughts. Meghiya 
comes back to the Buddha. The latter explains 
why such a state of thing happens to Meghiya. 

Chapter V Sona Them (Uddna, pp. 47-61). 
This chapter deals with Pasenadi's visit to the 

228 A History of Pali Literature 

Buddha, the conversion of the leper Suppabuddha, 
the admission of the lay-disciple Sona Kotikanna 
(afterwards Sona Thera) into the higher ranks of 
the Order, etc. 

Chapter VI Jaccandha (Uddna, pp. 62-73). 
The Buddha while sitting down on the appointed 
seat in the Capala shrine gives clear hint of his 
passing away (that is, attaining Mahaparinibbana) 
three months hence. But Ananda fails to under- 
stand the meaning of the palpable sign made. This 
chapter also deals with Pasenadi's visit to the 
Buddha. The Lord also discusses various heretical 
views, e.g., the world is eternal or not eternal, the 
world is finite or infinite, the soul and the body 
are identical or not identical. He rejects all these 
false views. 

Chapter VllCula (Uddna, pp. 74-79). This 
chapter deals with various topics. The heart of 
the venerable dwarf Bhaddiya is set free from 
attachment and the sins by the manifold religious 
discourses of the venerable Sariputta. 

Chapter VIII Pdtaligdmiya (Uddna, pp. 80- 
93). The Blessed One instructs and gladdens the 
bhikkhus with a religious discourse on the subject 
of Nirvana. The Master after partaking of the 
food provided by Cunda, the potter's son, is attacked 
with a severe malady. But the Lord, ever mindful 
and intent, endures the pains without a murmur. 
The Lord then goes to Kusinara. Once the Lord 
in company with a number of the brethren arrives 
at Pataligama. The lay-disciples of Pataligama 
receive the Buddha and the bhikkhus with great 
honour. The Master points out the five losses to 
the wrong-doer and five gains to the virtuous man. 

The Itivuttaka 1 is the fourth book. The title 

of the book signifies that it is a 
book of quotations of the authorita- 

1 Read " A Chinese Collection of Itivuttaka " by K. Watanabe, 
J.P.T.S., 1906-07; "Collation of the Siamese Edition of the 
Itivuttaka" by J. H. Moore (J.P.T.S., 1900-01). 

Canonical Pali Literature 229 

tive sayings of the Buddha. It has been published 
by the Pali Text Society under the able editorship of 
E. Windisch. The entire work consists of 112 
sections, each is composed partly in prose and 
partly in verse. Nipatas are subdivided into vaggas 
or chapters. The contents of the book are supposed 
to be Buddha's own words which are reported to 
have been heard and afterwards written down by 
one of his disciples. The authorship of the book is, 
however, very uncertain like that of other canonical 
works. It is an anthology of ethical teachings of 
the Buddha on a wide range of moral subjects. 
Passion, anger, pride, lust, and other shortcomings 
of body, word, and thought, friendliness, charity, 
virtue, modesty, truth, and several characteristic 
Buddhist doctrines are dealt with in it. Nirvana, 
the aggregates, the substrata, previous existence, 
and supreme enlightenment are discussed in it. 
The book contains repetitions of phrases and 
formulas. It is somewhat marred by the frequent 
use of the indefinite relative clause. The prose 
style is generally abrupt and inelegant. Occasional 
metaphors and similes give a pleasing touch to the 
style. Figures of speech drawn from Nature, from 
animals and their character, and from man and 
his relations in daily life, have not been abundantly 
used. The work is divided into five vaggas and 
contains 120 short passages which begin with the 
words, " vuttarii hetam Bhagavata, vuttam arahata 
ti me suttam ", " Thus was it said by the Blessed 
One, the Exalted One Thus have I heard ", and 
each bhanavara (chapter) ends with the words 
ayampi attho vutto Bhagavata iti me sutanti ", 
This meaning was told by the Blessed One Thus 
have I heard". 

Manuscripts available are three Sinhalese 
manuscripts and four Burmese manuscripts. 1 
Dr. Windisch is right in saying that the irregular 

1 See Preface to the Itivuttaka (P.T.S.). 



230 A History of Pali Literature 

number of syllables is sometimes the result of 
turning a regular verse into its opposite. 

Dr. Moore translated the book for the first 
time into English with an introduction and note 
in 1908 included in the Indo-Iranian Series of the 
Columbia University edited by Dr. William Jackson. 
A. J. Edmunds is engaged in preparing an English 
translation of this text. It is one of the shortest 
of the Buddhist books in size. 

In editing the Itivuttaka Dr. Windisch has 
made use of the following manuscripts : 

(1) Sinhalese manuscripts 

(i) Palm-leaf MS. of the India Office library, 
(ii) Paper manuscript in the possession of 

Prof. Rhys Davids. 

(iii) Paper MS. being a present to Dr. 
Windisch from Donald Ferguson, 

(2) Burmese 

(i) Palm-leaf MS. of the India Office library, 

Phayre collection. 

(ii) Palm-leaf MS. of Mandalay collection, 
(iii) Palm-leaf MS. of the ' Bibliotheque 
Nationale at Paris, marked on the 
cover " A 28 Itivuttaka Pali, A 29 
Atthakatha. P. Grimbolt ". 

(iv) A second palm-leaf MS. of the Biblio- 
theque Nationale. 

Justin H. Moore published the collection of 
the Itivuttaka in 1907. 

A brief summary of the chapters of the text 
is given below. 

Ekanipata (Itivuttaka, P.T.S., pp. 1-21). The 
Lord speaks on evil and good, the evil effects of 
desire, hate, delusion, anger, hypocrisy, pride, and 
the merit which accrues to one who keeps himself 
away from all these evils. He describes thirst 
as a fetter that causes transmigration. Perfect 
attention and goodness are characterised as attri- 

Canonical Pali Literature 231 

butes of a novitiate-monk. He speaks of impurity 
in thought and its consequences and tranquillity of 
thought and its reward. According to him zeal in 
good works gains welfare now and in future. He 
condemns intentional falsehood. He praises charity, 
especially in giving food. 

Dukanipdta (Itivuttaka, pp. 22-44). The Lord 
speaks of the temptations of senses, and sins of 
body, word, and thought. He describes sloth and 
perversity as chief drawbacks to the attainment 
of supreme enlightenment. According to him a 
recluse should be cautious and should strive for 
spiritual power. He describes the various moral 
qualities of monks and the rewards of a recluse 

Tikanipdta (Itivuttaka,, pp. 45-101). The Lord 
speaks of how impropriety originates. He describes 
feelings pleasant, painful, and indifferent. He says 
about the taints of lust, existence, and ignorance, and 
condemns the thirst for lust, existence and non- 
existence. He describes charity, character, and 
devotion as essential qualities of virtuous deeds. 
According to him, knowledge and understanding 
lead to emancipation, and full comprehension of 
the Indestructible leads to release and repose. 
According to him Mara's (the Evil one) weapons are 
passion, hatred, and delusion, and that transmigration 
may be avoided by renouncing these evils. He 
speaks of good and bad actions of body, word, and 
thought and their respective good and bad effects. 
He speaks of the impermanence of the body and 
transitoriness of the substrata. He says that lust, 
malevolence, and cruelty do not lead to Nirvana. 
He speaks of the Noble Eightfold Path. He shows 
the way to escape birth, old age, and death. 

Catukkanipdta (Itivuttaka, pp. 102-124). The 
Lord speaks of the simplicity in the daily life of a 
faithful follower. According to him he who has 
the knowledge of miseries and sorrows the cause of 
their origin and decay can easily do away with 
earthly ties. He describes lust, malevolence, and 

232 A History of Pali Literature 

cruelty as constant sources of temptation which 
may even cause the fall of a virtuous man. 

The Sutta Nipata * is the fifth book. It consists 

of five vaggas or chapters which 

Sutta Nipata. - T? /-i \ TT /o\ 

are as follows: (1) Uraga, (2) 
Cula, (3) Maha, (4) Atthaka, and (5) Parayana. 
The first vagga known as the Uragavagga con- 
tains 12 suttas, namely, Uraga, Dhaniya, Khag- 
gavisana, Kasibharadvaja, _Cunda, Parabhava, 
Vasala, Metta, Hemavata, Alavaka, Vijaya, and 
Muni. The second vagga or the Cula vagga contains 
14 suttas, e.g., Ratana, Amagandha, Hiri, Maha- 
mangala, Suciloma, Dhammacariya, Brahmana- 
dhammika, Nava, Kimsila, Utthana, Rahula, 
Vangisa, Sammaparibbajaniya, and Dhammika. 
The third vagga or the Mahavagga contains 12 
suttas, e.g., Pabbajja, Padhana, Subhasita, Sundari- 
kabharadvaja, Magha, Sabhiya, Sela, Salla, Vasettha, 
Kokaliya, Nalaka, and Dvayatanupassana. These 
are long suttas. The fourth vagga or the Attliaka- 
vagga consists of 16 suttas, e.g., Kama, Guhatthaka, 
Dutthatthaka, Suddhatthaka, Paramatthaka, Jara, 

' 7 ., 7 7 

Tissametteyya, Pasura, Magandiya, Purabheda, 
Kalahavivada, Culaviyuha, Mahaviyuha, Tuvataka, 
Attadanda, and Sariputta. The fifth and the last 
vagga, namely, the Parayana vagga, contains (1) 
Vatthugatha, (2) Ajitamanavapuccha, (3) Tissamet- 
teyamanavapuccha, (4) Punnakamanavapuccha, (5) 
Mettagumanavapuccha, (6) Dhotakamanavapuccha, 
(7) Upasivamanavapuccha, (8) Nandamanavapuccha, 
(9) Hemakamanavapuccha, (10) Todeyyamanava- 
puccha, (11) Kappamanavapuccha, (12) Jatnkanni- 
manavapuccha, (13) Bhadravudhamanavapuccha, 
(14) Udayamanavapuccha, (15) Posalamanava- 
puccha, (16) Mogharajamanavapuccha, and (17) 

The Sutta Nipata is one of the most important 
works of the Sutta Pitaka. It contains informa- 

tion about the social, economical, and religious 

1 Read Sutta Nipata in Chinese by M. Anesaki (J.P.T.S., 1906-07). 

Canonical Pali Literature 233 

condition of India at the time of Gautama Buddha. 
It refers to the six heretical teachers and the 
Samanas and Brahmanas. It gives us sufficient aid 
to the study of Buddhism as an ethical religion. 
It is, as Dr. Rhys Davids says, " the result rather 
of communistic than of individual effort ". It 
presents us with the philosophical and ethical teach- 
ings of the Buddha and with the ideals of a Buddhist 
monk. It has references to religious sects like the 
Samanas or the Brahmanas. and certain customs of 


the Indian people. It is, in the words of Prof. 
Fausboll, " an important contribution to the right 
understanding of primitive Buddhism, for we see 
here a picture not of life in monasteries, but of life 
of the hermits in its first stage. We have before us 
not the systematising of the later Buddhist Church 
but the first germs of a system, the fundamental 
ideas of which come out with sufficient clearness". 
The Sutta Nipata comprises five cantos. The first 
four cantos contain fifty-four short lyrics while 
sixteen others cover the fifth one, called the Para- 
yana. Out of thirty-eight poems in the first three 
cantos, six are found in other books of the canon. 
These poems had existed separately as popular 
hymns before they were incorporated into the Sutta 
Nipata. They appear to be current as proverbs or 
favourite sayings of the people. The fourth canto 
is called " The Eights ". four of the lyrics in it 
contain eight stanzas a piece. A reference to this 
canto as a separate work appears in the Samyutta 
Nikaya, Vinaya Pitaka, and the Udana. Rhys 
Davids holds that this canto must, in earlier times, 
have been already closely associated in thought 
with the fifth canto, for the two together are the 
subject of a curious old commentary, the only 
work of the kind, included in the nikayas. That 
this commentary, the Niddesa, takes no notice of 
the other three cantos would seem to show that 
when it was composed, the whole of the five cantos 
had not yet been brought together into a single 
book. The fifth canto is called the Parayana. It 

234 A History of Pali Literature 

is quoted or referred to six times as a separate 
poem in the nikayas. About one-third of the 
poems in the collection are of the nature of ballads. 
They narrate some short incidents, the speeches are 
in most cases in verses, though the story itself is 
generally in prose with certain exceptions. They are 
in this respect like a large number of suttas found in 
other portions of the canon. 

The Pabbajja, Padhana, and Nalaka Suttas are 
specimens of old religious ballad poetry. The 
language of the book shows that some portions of it 
are far older than the Dhammapada. The metres 
are like the Vedic metres of eight syllables (anus- 
thubh), eleven syllables (tristhubh), or twelve 
syllables (jagati). The number of syllables is fixed 
but the arrangement of long and short syllables is 
not satisfactory. A combination of Indravajra and 
Upendravajra (208-212, 214-219) or Vamsastha and 
Indravamsa (221, 688-90) occurs very often. 
Mr. Bapat is right in pointing out some stanzas of 
thirteen syllables as 220, 679-80, 691-98 which appear 
to be in the style of Atijagati, but the scanning 
of the lines discloses that they do not conform to the 
subdivisions of that class according to the later 
Gana system. Gana and Matra Vrittas are also 
found in combination. Stanzas in Vaitallya (33-34, 
658-59, 804^-813) and Aupacchaiidasika (1-17, 83-87, 
361-73) metres are also found. Stanzas (663-676) 
in the Kokaliya Sutta illustrate Vegavati metres 
with slight variations. Prof. Bapat rightly observes, 
" There was no inflexible rigidity in the then existing 
scheme of versification as in the later Sanskrit 
classical literature of the Kavyas and Natakas " 
(Sutta Nipata, Devanagri Ed., Intro., p. xxix). 
The Pali Text Society of England under the editor- 
ship of Mr. Helmer Smith has brought out an ex- 
cellent edition of the Sutta Nipata commentary in 
Roman character (known as the Paramattha-jotika), 
useful and helpful in understanding the text. It 
is rich in materials for the reconstruction of the 
history of Ancient India. Its language is simple 

Canonical Pali Literature 235 

and easy to understand. It contains an account of 
the interesting dialogue between Dhaniya and 
Buddha, the one rejoicing in his worldly security 
and the other in his religious belief. It teaches 
us to avoid family life and corrupted state of society. 
In it we find the Buddha describing the different 
kinds of samanas to Cunda. There is a dialogue in 
it between two Yakkhas on the qualities of the 
Buddha. It contains good definitions of a muni 
and true friendship. There is an interesting admoni- 
tion by the Buddha to the bhikkhus to get them- 
selves rid of sinful persons. It teaches men not to 
be slothful. In it we find the Buddha recommending 
the life of a recluse. It contains accounts of the 
conversions of Sabhiya and Sela by the Buddha. 
There are suttas in the Sutta Nipata which relate 
to many venerable theras asking questions to the 
Buddha, cf. Aitamanavapuccha, Tissametteyamana- 
vapuccha, Punnakamanavapuccha, etc. etc. 

Buddhism is essentially an ethical system, 

and Nirvana, the goal of Bud- 

. an ethical ^{^ philosophy, is attained 

religion from the Sutta . , f , .1-1 

mainly by practising some ethical 

virtues, and by realising the 
Four Noble Truths (Cottar i ariyasaccdni) and the 
Law of Causation (patiecasamuppada). The Sutta 
Nipata, one of the earliest books of the Pali 
Canon, at least seems to interpret the religion 
mainly from its ethical point of view ; for a large 
number of the more important suttas are mere 
didactic poems on Buddhist ethics. Thus the 
PardbJwvasutta relates the various causes of loss to 
the losing man, and all these causes are concerned 
with what one's moral conduct in life should be. 
The Navasutta- directs one to cultivate the society 
of a good man, who is intelligent and learned, and 
leads a regular moral life with penetration into the 
Dhamma. In the Dhammikasutta the Buddha 
teaches the Dhamma that destroys sin, and this 
Dhamma is therein described to consist in the 
dutiful and faithful performance of some rules of 

236 A History of Pali Literature 

daily conduct and some moral virtues. Thus a 
bhikkhu is asked to walk about only at a right time, 
to subdue his desire for name and form, sound, 
taste, smell, and touch which intoxicate creatures, 
to turn his mind away from outward things, and 
not to utter slander against others. Above all, 
he should not cling to material things ; and should 
thus be like a waterdrop on a lotus. And similarly 
a householder too must abide by certain similar 
moral rules. He must not kill or cause to kill 
any living being, he must not steal or approve of 
stealing ; he must not speak falsehood, take in- 
toxicating drinks ; he must refrain from unchaste 
sexual intercourse ; lie must practise the eightfold 
abstinence and make distribution of charity accord- 
ing to his ability : and, he must also dutifully 
maintain his parents and practise an honourable 
trade. And what a life should an ascetic, a niuni, 
lead the pivot of the Buddhist Church ? It is 
not easy for a householder to lead a perfectly 
spotless, holy life ; so a muni, a bhikkhu should remove 
himself from all relatives and worldly possessions, 
and live away from society. He should observe 
all moral rules of conduct and lead a life of austere 
simplicity. He should have no dealing in gold 
and silver, or buying or selling or be subservient to 
anybody. He should indulge only in moderate 
food and that only once by day. He should scru- 
pulously observe the rules of Patimokkha, and be 
restrained in body, tongue, and mind. This is the 
keynote of the teachings of Buddhism ' lead a 
perfectly honest and moral life ' ; and this is as well 
the burden of many a sutta of the Sutta Nipata. 
The suttas of the Sutta Nipata record simple rules 
of moral conduct for bhikkhus and householders as 
well, and if those rules are observed, Buddhism has 
scarcely to ask for more. Even the Padhdnasutta 
that narrates the conversation between Mara and 
Gotama is nothing but a poetic representation of 
the struggle between evil and moral tendencies in 
man ; and the defeat of Mara symbolises one's 

Canonical Pali Literature 237 

victory over covetousness, discontent, hunger, thirst, 
hankering, laziness, dullness, fear, doubt, love of 
glory, fame, self-exaltation, slander, sexual and 
physical pleasures, and hankerings. A number of 
suttas, as for example, the Amagandhasutta, gives 
the Buddhist idea of purity and impurity of life ; 
bad mind and wicked deeds defile a man ; no out- 
ward observances can purify him this is what 
Buddhism seeks to teach in direct contrast to the 
teachings of Brahmanism. There is moreover a 
very large number of suttas like the Uraga, the 
Sammdparibbdjaniya, the Mdgandiya, the Purd- 
bheda, the Tuvataka, the Attadanda, the Sdriputta, 
the Khaggavisdna, the Muni, etc., which set out 
the ideal of the life of a bhikkhu or a householder. 
And this ideal, as related above, is nothing but 
an ideal of a perfectly honest, regular, and moral 
life. There is nowhere any talk about God or any 
other supreme deity, nor even of any sort of 
religious observance, such as worship or the like. 
Even the philosophical character of Buddhism as 
related in the Sutta Nipata is ethical. A bhikkhu 
should not indulge in the extremes of pleasure and 
self-mortification, but should follow the middle 
path. And the three cardinal principles which he 
is required to realise are that all worldly pleasures are 
impermanent (anicca), painful (dukkha), and un- 
substantial (anatta). Buddhism thus enjoins upon 
its followers to know the real nature of the world 
and knowing it, to lead a moral life shaking off 
all philosophical views whatsoever. This is what is 
the essence of the Sutta Nipata ; and this essence 
is nowhere more emphasised than in the Parayana- 
vagga, the concluding chapter of the Sutta Nipata. 
This vagga, as Mr. Bapat rightly points out, is really 
a ' fitting closure ' to the mainly ethical subject- 
matter of the different vaggas of the important 
treatise. Here, in almost all the answers to the 
questions of the sixteen disciples of Bavarin, the 
Master tells them " the way to cross the worldly 
ocean, to destroy thirst and detachment, to cease 

238 A History of Pali Literature 

all ditthis, silos, and vatas, and to attain, in this 
very world, a state, where one would have no fear 
from death, and where one would be completely 
happy ; in short, to attain Nibbana, the goal of 
Buddhist philosophy ".* 

The Sutta Nipata is one of the oldest books of 

the Pali Canon, and as such, it 
Traces of Primitive contains important traces of Primi- 

Buddhism in Sutta . . -r* i n i i 

Nipata. tive Buddhism, recognisable not 

only from the language and style 
of some of the vaggas, but also from its contents. 

Buddhism, as understood from the Sutta Nipata, 
is not yet an established philosophical system, at 
best it is an ethical religion. In the Atthakavagga, 
the Buddha pronounces himself distinctly against 
philosophy or ditthi or darsana. In his time, there 
were in Mid-India a number of philosophical systems, 
and these systems people considered as religion. 
It was asserted that purity of life consisted in the 
attainment of knowledge and of philosophical views, 
in following traditions and in doing holy works. 
Buddha stood against this view of a religious life, 
he discarded all philosophical systems. A religious 
life, the life of a muni or ascetic, consists, in his 
view as propounded in the Sutta Nipata, in shaking 
off every philosophical theory in being indifferent to 
learning, in giving up all prejudiced ideas, and in 
not being a disputant which all followers of philoso- 
phical views must invariably be. There is misery, 
he seems to say, in the philosophical views and in 
traditional instruction ; none is thus saved by 
philosophy or finds peace in virtuous works. 
Dhamma in his opinion seems to consist in dutiful 
and faithful performance of some rules of conduct 

1 Sutta Nipata by P. V. Bapat, Poona, Intro., p. xxvii. 
" Another feature ", says Mr. Bapat, " of the same ethical tendency 
of Buddhism, is found in the unusual fondness displayed as for 
instance in the Sabhiyasutta in interpreting, according to the 
Buddhist philosophy of ethics, some older brahmanical or other 
technical terms, Uke Brahmana, Samana, Nahataka, Khettajina, 
Vedagu, Paribbajaka, Naga, Pandita, etc." 

Uanonical rato literature 239 

and some moral virtues, and if they are observed, 
Buddhism of the Sutta Nipata would not ask for 
more. Nevertheless, there are in the Sutta Nipata 
the germs of a philosophical system which later on 
came to be more logically and consistently sys- 
tematised ; but even this philosophical character, as 
we have said before, is mainly ethical (see Buddhism : 
an ethical religion in the Sutta Nipata). Buddhism 
of the Sutta Nipata is thus a very simple Faith 
mainly consisting in the conscientious performance 
of some rules of conduct and moral duties and in 
realising that all worldly pleasures are impermanent 
(anicca), painful (dukkha), and unsubstantial 
(anatta). Sutta Nipata thus represents Buddhism 
in its primitive stage as a simple ethical religion, 
and as a repository of germs which later on grew 
up into a philosophical system. 

The primitive character of Buddhism of the 
Sutta Nipata is equally evident from the picture of 
social life contained in it. We gather from the 
Sutta Nipata that in those days there were two 
large religious sects in Northern India, the 
Brahmanas and the Samanas. Both the sects had 

a good number of teachers with numerous followers 
and adherents around them. The Samanas were 

divided into four classes, viz. Maggajmas, Magga- 
desakas, Maggajivins, and Maggadusins. Both 
Samanas and Brahmanas were followers of different 
philosophical systems and traditional knowledge. 
With regard to their various systems and knowledge, 
disputes arose ; they are thus called disputants, 
vadasila. Of such Brahmanas, three classes are 
mentioned in the Sutta Nipata, viz. Titthiyas, 
Ajivikas, and Niganthas. The Brahmanas were 
well-versed in hymns, principal of which was 
Savitti. They used to worship and make offerings 
to the fire ; not unoften they killed cows for sacri- 

Buddha was himself a Samana, but he did not 
agree with their philosophical systems and tradi- 
tional knowledge, nor with those of the Brahmanas. 

240 A History of Pali Literature 

He was also against their view of a religious life and 
against disputations. He was also against any sort 
of worship or offering, or any sort of sacrifice, 
specially those which involved loss of life. Accord- 
ing to his view of life, it was not easy or possible 
for a householder to lead a perfectly spotless, moral 
life, so he himself became a muni, an ascetic, and 
asked his followers to become like him a muni, 
and thus to remove himself from all relatives, worldly 
possessions, and live away from society. It should 
be noticed that he did not ask them to come and 
join any Samgha or any such Order. In fact, at 
that time, of which the Sutta Nipata presents a 
picture, no Samgha or religious Order had then 
come to be established. Followers of Buddha's 
teachings were not too numerous to necessitate the 
formation of any such Order or monastic establish- 
ment. His followers were at that time individual 
hermits who lived away from society singly by 
themselves. The idea of a religious fraternity, of a 
unified religious Order had not then matured. Each 
in his own way by accepting the teachings of 
Buddha, by leading a moral life, and by realising 
the real nature of the world could become a follower 
of Buddhism without himself belonging to a parti- 
cular religious Order. The idea of a religious 
fraternity living within well-defined and strictly 
regulated monastic life and establishments was a 
later development ; it has but very little trace hi 
the Sutta Nipata. Fausboll, therefore, rightly 
points out that we see in the Sutta Nipata "a 
picture not of life in monasteries, but of the life of 
hermits in its first stage. We have before us not 
the systematising of the later Buddhist Church, but 
the first germs of a system, the fundamental ideas 
of which come out with sufficient clearness 'V 

A summary of the vaggas or cantos is given 

1 S.B.E., Vol. X, Sutta Nipata (Fausboll), Intro., p. xii. 

Canonical Pali Literature 241 


Uragasutta (Sutta Nipdta 9 P.T.S., pp. 1-3). The 
bhikkhu who discards all human passions anger, 
hatred, passion, craving, arrogance, doubts, and 
desires, he who has not found any essence in the 
existences, he who has overcome all delusion, he 
who is free from covetousness and folly, he whose 
sins are extirpated from the root, he who is free 
from fear or suffering, is compared to a snake that 
cast its skin. 

Dhaniyasutta (S.N., pp. 3-6). Dhaniya was a 
rich herdsman who rejoiced in his worldly security of 
a happy family life, in his large number of milch 
cows, and in his good sons and wife. He, therefore, 
entreated the sky to rain if it liked. He one day 
held an interesting conversation with the Buddha 
who rejoiced in his religious beliefs, in his pure and 
virtuous life. He, too, entreated the sky to rain if 
it pleased. Then at once a shower poured down, 
and Dhaniya wanted to take refuge in the Buddha 
endowed with the eye of wisdom, and conquer 
birth and death, and put an end to pain. 

KJtaggavisdnasutta l (S.N., pp. 6-12). Family 
life, friendship, and intercourse with others should 
be avoided, for society has all vices in its train ; 
one should, therefore, leave the corrupted state of 
society and lead a solitary life. But if one can 
get a clever, \\ise, and righteous companion, 

1 This sutta also occurs in the Mahavastu, I, pp. 357-358. 

tk Vaihso visalo .... eko care-pe- " (S.N. pp. 6-7, v. 38), 
cf. Dhammapada, v. 345. 

' Sace labhotha nipakam sahayam. . . .attamano satima " 
(S.N., p. 8, v. 45), cf. Dhammapada, v. 328. 

"No ce labhetha nipakarh sahayam .... eko care " 

(S.N., p. 8, v. 46), cf. Dhammapada, v. 329. 

" Sltafi ca unhan ca eko care " (S.N., p. 9, v. 52), 

cf. Jataka, I, p. 93. 

" Patisallanam jhaiiaiii ariiicamano eko care. ..." 

(S.N., p. 11, v. 69), cf. Dhammapada, v. 20. 

" Ragafi ca dosaii ca pahaya moham....eko care " 

(S.N., p. 12, v. 74), cf. Dhammapada, v. 20. 

"Sabbesu bhutesu nidhaya dandam. . . .eko care khaggavisa- 
ijiakappo " (S.N., p. 6, v. 36), cf. Dhammapada, v. 142. 


242 A History of Pali Literature 

he may wander about with him, glad and thought- 
ful. Family life and friendship bring in sensual 
pleasures; one should, therefore, avoid a wicked 
companion who teaches what is useless and has 
gone into what is wrong. 

Kasibhdradvdjasutta (S.N., pp. 12-16). A 
brahmana, Kasibharadvaja by name, ploughed, 
sowed, and worked hard on this field for livelihood. 
One day seeing Gotama seeking alms from door to 
door, he reproached him for his idleness. But 
Gotama convinced him that he too ploughed and 
sowed, for his faith was the seed, penance the 
rain, understanding the yoke and plough, modesty 
the pole, mind the tie, and thoughtfulness the 
ploughshare and goad. He also convinced him 
that he too worked hard for carrying him to 

Cundasutta ' (S.N., pp. 16-18). Cunda, a smith, 
enquired of the Buddha how many kinds of Samanas 
were there. Buddha said that there were four, 
viz., Maggajinas, Maggadesakas, Maggajivins, and 
Maggadusins. The Buddha next explained to him 
peculiar traits of each particular class. 

Pardbhavasutta* (8.N. 9 pp. 18-20). When the 
Buddha was at Jetavana, one night a god visited 
him, and saluting him asked what had been the 
cause of loss to the losing man. The Buddha told 
him that he who loved Dhamma was the winner, 
he who hated it was the loser. To the losing man 
wicked men were dear and their religion, full of 
vices and bad deeds, was his religion too. Having 
taken into consideration all these losses, the wise 
man, endowed with insight, cultivates the happy 
world of the gods. 

VasalasuMa (S.N., pp. 21-25). When living in 

1 " Chadanam katvana sa maggadusi " (8.N., p. 17, v. 89), 

cf. Jataka, II, p. 281. 

2 This sutta represents the antithesis of the Mahamangala 
Sutta. The text of this sutta has been published by Grimbolt 
in the J.A., t. xviii (1871), translation by Feer in J.A., t. xviii 
(1871) and by Gogerly, J.A., t. (1872), xx. 

Canonical Pali Literature 243 

the Jetavana, the venerable Gotama one day went 
out to seek alms to the house of brahmana Aggi- 
kabharadvaja who reproached the Sage as an 
outcaste. Buddha told him that he was not an 
outcaste and explained to him what an outcaste 
did really mean. "It is not by birth ", he said, 
" that one becomes an outcaste, not by birth does 
one become a brahmana, it is by deeds alone that 
one becomes an outcaste or a brahmana ". 

Mettasutta (8.N., pp. 25-26). A man who seeks 
to avoid rebirth should be gentle, upright, and 
conscientious. He must not do anything mean or 
harmful. He must be contented and unburdened, 
and should not be arrogant. He should cultivate 
a boundless mind towards all beings, and good will 
towards all the world (cf. Khuddakapatha, pp. 8-9). 

Henmvatasutta (8.N.,pp. 27-31). Two Yakkhas, 
Satagira and Hemavata, with their doubts about 
the qualities of the venerable Gotama, resolved with 
the help of each other, went to the venerable Gotama, 
and enquired of him about the means of deliverance 
from the snares of death. And the Master explained 
to them the different stages of a life that was 
aspirant after becoming the all-knowing, the wise, 
the great risliis, walking in the noble path. 

Alavaka&utta (8.N., pp. 31-33). At one time 
when the Lord was dwelling at Alavi, the king of 
the realm, Yakkha Alavaka, came to him and in a 
threatening attitude asked him some questions 
as to what in this world was the best property 
for a man, what conveyed happiness, how could 
one cross the stream of existence, how could one 
obtain understanding, and so on and so forth. 
Buddha with his lucid exposition answered them 
to the satisfaction of the king, who then became 

Vijayasutta (S.N., pp. 34-35). Very few men 
see the body as it is. It is full of impurities that 
flow in nine streams, it is filled with intestines, liver, 
stomach, abdomen, heart, lungs, kidneys, etc., and 
the hollow head is full of brain. When dead 

244 A History of Pali Literature 

nobody cares about it which is eaten by dogs and 
jackals and other animals. Only a bhikkhu pos- 
sessed of understanding knows it thoroughly well, 
sees the body as it is, and reflects on its worthless- 
ness. And, thus consequently he goes to Nibbana 
(cf. Jataka, I, p. 146). 

Munisutta 1 (S.N., pp. 35-38). Here we find 
the definition of a muni. A muni is in a houseless 
state and free from acquaintanceship. He has 
uprooted his sin, he has no desire, and he has seen 
the end of birth and destruction. He is free from 
strife and covetousness, he has overcome everything 
and knows everything. He is thoughtful and free 
from passion, and delights in meditation. He is 
firm, solitary, self-restrained, and is free from 
sensual enjoyment. Such is a muni who is far 
above a householder. 


Ratanasutta (8.N., pp. 39-42). For all beings, 
whether living in the air or on the earth, whatever 
wealth there be here or in the other world, or 
whatever excellent jewel in the heavens, there is 
nothing equal to the Buddha, there is nothing equal 
to the Dhamma, there is nothing equal to the 
Samgha. So all beings, desirous of salvation, should 
take recourse to nothing else than the Buddha, the 
Dhamma, and the Samgha (cf. Khuddakapatha, 
pp. 3-6). 

Amagandkasutta* (S.N., pp. 42-45). A brah- 
mana once accused Kassapa Buddha of having taken 
food made of rice together with well-prepared flesh 

1 This is tho Pali counterpart of the Muriigatha recommended 
by A6oka in his Bhabrvi Edict. 

" Sabbabhibhurh sabbavidum surnedharh tarn vapi 

dhira munirh vedayanti " (S.N., p. 36, v. 211), cf. Dhammapada, 
v. 353. 

2 " Na maccliamamsam nanasakattarh . . . .sodhenti maccarh 
avitinnakamkham " (Sutta Nipata, p. 44, v. 249), cf. Dhammapada, 
v. 141. 

Canonical Pali Literature 245 

of birds, and, therefore, of having eaten Amagandha 
(what defiles one). But Kassapa Buddha explained 
to him again and again that eating of flesh was 
not Amagandha, or something what defiles one. 
Bad mind and wicked deeds defile a man; and 
neither hymns nor oblations, nor sacrifices, nor 
penances, can purify a mortal of such defilement. 

Hirisutta 1 (S.N., pp. 45-46). This is a short 
dissertation on true friendship. A friend who does 
not help in time of need is not a real friend ; whoso- 
ever uses pleasing words to friends without giving 
effect to them, whosoever looks out for faults in 
friends, whosoever hopes for fruits and cultivates 
the energy that produces joy is not a real friend. 

Mahdman galas utta (S.N., pp. 46-47).- When 
the Buddha was residing in the Jetavana, one night 
a deity approached him and asked as to what had 
been the highest blessing. Buddha explained to 
him in detail that in cultivating the society of wise 
men, in having done good deeds in a former existence, 
in waiting upon the superiors, in ceasing and abstain- 
ing from sin, in reverence, humility, and in similar 
virtues and in living religiously, in penance and 
chastity, and in the realisation of Nibbana, lay the 
highest blessing (cf. Mangala Sutta, Khuddaka- 
patha, p. 3). 

Sucilomasutia (8.N., pp. 47-49). At one time 
when the Blessed One was dwelling at Gaya, 
Suciloma, a Yakkha, wanted to find out whether 
the Buddha was really a Samana or Samanaka 
(wretched Samana) ; and threatened him with a 
question as to what had been the origin of passion, 
hatred, disgust, delight, horror, and doubt. Buddha 
told him that all these had their origin in the body, 
they originated in desire and arose in self. 

Dhammacariyasutta or Kapilasutta (S.N., pp. 49- 
50). One who has become a bhikkhu should lead a 
just life, a religious life ; and should not injure others 

1 " Pavivekarasarh pltva Dhammapitirasam pi van ti " 

(B.N., p. 46, v. 257), cf. Dhammapada, v. 205. 

246 A History of Pali Literature 

as well as his own cultivated mind. He must not 
take delight in quarrelling ; otherwise he would go 
to calamity from womb to womb and afterwards to 
pain. One who is full of sin is difficult to be purified ; 
so the bhikkhus should always avoid the company 
of such a person who is dependent on a house having 
sinful desires and sinful thoughts. 

Brdhrnanadhammikasutta (S.N. 9 pp. 50-55). At 
one time when the Buddha was living at the 
Jetavana-vihara, some old, decrepit but wealthy 
brahmanas came to the Buddha and enquired of 
him the customs of the ancient brahmanas. Buddha 
described in detail to them the high moral standard 
of life they used to live ; but there was a change in 
them after gradually seeing king's prosperity and 
adorned women. The brahmanas thus gradually 
became covetous, and induced the king to make 
offerings and sacrifices of animals so that they 
might gain something. Dhamma thus came to 
be lost to the brahmanas. The brahmanas were 

convinced of Buddha's explanations, and were after- 
wards converted. 

Ndvdsutta (8.N., pp. 55-56). A man who takes 
his lessons of Dhamma from a worthy teacher is 
able to manifest the highest Dhamma. But one 
who serves a low teacher who is ignorant of Dhamma 
goes to death. A man who does not understand 
Dhamma cannot help another to do it ; but one, 
who is accomplished, is easily able to make others 
endowed with the highest knowledge. One should, 
therefore, cultivate the society of a learned and 
intelligent man. 

Kimsllasutta 1 (8.N., pp. 56-57). One who as- 
pires after attaining the highest good should not be 
envious, obstinate, or careless. He should be regular 
in his studies and religious discourses, and above 
all he should practise what is good, the Dhamma, 
self-restraint, and chastity. Dhamma must be his 

1 " Dhammaramo dhammarato tacchehi niyyetha subha- 

sitehi (S.N., p. 67, v. 327), cf. Dhammapada, v. 364. 

Canonical Pali Literature 247 

first and last concern, and he should be free from 
infatuation. Those who do this come to be es- 
tablished in peace and meditation and go to the 
essence of learning and understanding. 

Utthdnasutta (S.N., pp. 57-58). This is an 
advice not to be lukewarm and slothful. For one 
who is sick, pierced by the arrow of suffering and 
pain, there is no rest, no sleep. He should rise 
up and learn steadfastly for the sake of peace, and 
conquer the desires. He must not be indolent, for 
indolence is defilement. 

Rahulasutta l (S.N.,pp. 58-59). Buddha recom- 
mended the life of a recluse to Rahula, and told 
him to respect the wise man and live with him 
constantly. He admonished him to turn him away 
from the pleasures of the world, and enjoined upon 
him the principles of moderation. 

Vanglsasutta (8.N., pp. 59-62).- At one time 
when the Blessed One was dwelling at Alavl, Vangisa 
came to know the fate of his teacher Nigrodhakappa 
who had just attained bliss (aciraparinibbuta). He 
wanted to know whether he had been completely 
extinguished, or whether he was still with some 
elements of existence left behind. Buddha told 
him that his teacher had cut off the craving for 
name and form in this world, and had crossed 
completely birth and death, and had, therefore, been 
completely extinguished. 

Sammdparibbdjaniyasutta (8.N., pp. 63-66). 
This is a dissertation on the right path for a bhikkhu. 
A bhikkhu who has abandoned the sinful omens, 
subdued his passions, conquered existence, under- 
stood the Dhamma, cast behind him slander, anger 
and avarice, and liberated from bonds, such a one 
will wander rightly in the world. He who does not 
see any essence in the upadhis (attachments), is not 
opposed to anyone in the world, not intoxicated with 
pride, not subjected to sins and affections, and, 

1 *' Mitte bhajassu kalyane. . . .nmttanfiu hohi bhojane 
(S.N., p. 58, v. 338), of. Dhammapada, verses 185 and 375. 

248 A History of Pali Literature 

above all, ever longs for Nibbana, such a person 
wanders rightly in the world. 

Dhammikasutta (S.N., pp. 66-70). At one time 
when the Buddha was dwelling in the Jetavana- 
vihara, Dhammika, an upasaka, came to him, and 
enquired of him what the life of a bhikkhu and what 
the life of a householder ought to be. A bhikkhu 
must not walk about at a wrong time, he must 
subdue his senses and desires, he must reflect 
within himself and talk only about the Dhamma 
and nothing else. A savaka or a householder must 
be a good one, must not kill, and must abstain from 
greed and theft and falsehood. He should avoid an 
unchaste life, intoxicating drinks, and should practise 
abstinence on the eighth, fourteenth, and fifteenth 
days of the half-month. He should also entertain 
bhikkhus with food and drink. 


Pabbajjdsutta (8.N., pp. 72-74). When Got am a 
entered Giribbaja in Magadha for alms, Bimbi- 
sara saw him from a distance, and when he 
made enquiries of him, he came to know through 
his messengers that the Sage was dwelling in the 
Panda va hill. The king then went to the Pandava 


hill and tried to tempt him with wealth and wanted 
to know his birth. Buddha told him that he had 
been born of the Sakivas of Kosala, but he had 

< 7 

wandered out, not longing for sensual pleasures, 
seeing misery in them. 

Padhdnasutta l (8.N., pp. 74-78). When the 
Buddha gave himself to meditation for the sake of 
acquiring Nibbana, Mara came to tempt him with 
his eightfold army of lust, discontent, hunger and 
thirst, craving, sloth, cowardice, doubt, hypocrisy, 
and stupor. But the Buddha sat firm on his seat, 
and gave him battle saying, " Woe upon life in this 

1 Cf. Lalitavistara (Lefmann), pp. 207 foil.; Mahavastu, IT, 
238 E. 

Canonical Pali Literature 249 

world, death in battle is better for me than I should 
live defeated ". Eventually Mara was disappointed 
and obliged to withdraw. 

Subhdsitasutta (S.N., pp. 78-79). This is a short 
dissertation addressed to the bhikkhus on well- 
spoken language. The language of a bhikkhu should 
have four requisites. It should be well-spoken, it 
should be pleasing, it should be right, and lastly it 
should be true. 

Simdarikabhdradvdjasiitta (S.N., pp. 79-86). At 
one time when the Lord was dwelling on the river 
Sundarika, a brahmana, Sundarikabharadvaja by 
name, intent upon making an offering and oblation, 
came up to him and asked if he was a brahmana 
and to whom an offering might well be made. The 
Lord spoke out to him that it was not by descent 
that one became worthy of receiving an offering, 
but by conduct alone. He then explained to the 
brahmana in detail the conduct and high moral and 
intellectual powers of a man worthy of such an 

MdgJtasuMa (8.X., pp. 86-91). At one time 
when the Lord was dwelling at Rajagaha, Magha, a 
young man, and a liberal and bountiful giver, came 
up to him and asked of those who were worthy of 
offerings. The Lord then explained to him in detail 
the conduct and high moral and intellectual powers 
of a man worth v of such an honour. Asked further 


he proceeded to speak out to him again of the 
various kinds of blessings of offerings. 

SabhiyasiiUa (S.N., pp. 91-102). Sabliiya, a 
paribbajaka, went to the six famous teachers of 
his time to have some questions answered. But 
they could not clear up his doubts ; he then repaired 
to Gotama and asked him how T one is to behave to 
become a brahmana, a samana, a nahataka, a 

" ^ 

khettajina, a kusala, a pandita, a muni, a vedagu, 
an ariuvidita, a dhfra, an ariya, a paribbajaka, and 
so forth. The Lord answered all these questions to, 
his satisfaction ; and Sabhiya received 
and the orders from the Buddha. 

250 A History of Pali Literature 

Selasutta (S.N., pp. 102-112). Keniya, a Jatila, 
once invited Buddha with his assembly to take his 
meals with him on the morrow. Sela, a brahmana, 
arrived at that place with three hundred young 
men ; seeing the preparation he asked what was 
going on, and was answered that Buddha was 
expected the next day. On hearing the word 
* Buddha ', Sela asked where the Buddha lived, and 
then went to him, conversed with him, and became 
converted with his followers. 

Sallasutta (8.N., pp. 112-114). This is a short 
dissertation which purports to mean that life is 
short and that all mortals are subject to death, but 
knowing the terms of the world the wise do not 
grieve. It means further that those who have left 
sorrow, will be blessed. 

Vdsetthasutta 1 (S.N.,pp. 115-123). Once a dis- 
pute arose between two young men, Bharadvaja 
and Vasettha, the former contending that a man 
should be a brahmana by birth, the latter by deeds. 
They agreed to go and ask Samana Gotama, who 
being approached answered that a man was a 
brahmana by his deeds only. The two men were 
then converted. 

Kokdliyasutta 2 (S.N. 9 pp. 123-131). Kokaliya, a 
bhikkhu, once approached Buddha and complained 
to him about the evil desires of Sariputta and 
Moggallana. On account of this behaviour not 
worthy of a bhikkhu, he was struck with boils as 
soon as he had left Buddha, and met with his death. 
He next went to the Paduma hell, whereupon 
Buddha describes to the bhikkhus the punishment 
of back-biters in hell. 

1 " Na caham brahmanam brumi. . . .akincanam anadanam 
tarn aham briirai brahmanam " (S.N., p. 119, v. 620), cf. Dhamma- 
pada, v. 396. 

2 " Abhutavadi nirayam upeti nihinakamma mamija 

parattha " (S.N., p. 127, v. 661), cf. Dhammapada, v. 306. 

" Yo appadutihassa narassa dussati sukhumo rajo pativa- 

tam va khitto" (S.N., p. 127, v. 662), cf. Dhammapada, v. 125. 

Canonical Pali Literature 251 

Ndlakasutta 1 (S.N., pp. 131-139). The sage 
Asita, also called Kanhasiri, once saw the gods 
rejoicing and asked the cause of it. He was told 
that Buddha's birth was the cause. He then 
descended from the Tusita heaven, and seeing the 
child, he received it joyfully and prophesied about 
it. Asita had a sister whose son was Nalaka, to 
him Buddha explained the highest state of wisdom. 

Dvayatanupassanasutta (S.N., pp. 139-149). 
At one time when the Blessed One was dwelling at 
Savattlii surrounded by the assembly of bhikkhus he 
made a dissertation on the origin of pain and suffering. 
All pain in the world, he spoke out, arose from 
upadhi (substance), avijja (ignorance), samkhara 
(confections), vinnana (consciousness), phassa (con- 
tact), vedana (sensation), tanha (desire), upadana 
(attachment), arambha (effort), ahara (food), ingita 
(sign), nissaya (support), rupa (form), mosadhamma 
(theft), and sukha (happiness). 


Kdmasutta (S.N., p. 151). Whoever desires to 
enjoy sensual pleasures, must suffer from pain and 
sins would overpower him. So sensual pleasures 
should always be avoided. 

Gukatlhakasutta (8.N., pp. 151-153). A man 
who adheres to the body and to physical pleasures, 
and laments to live at the mouth of death is a 
wretched man, and must suffer from pain. None 
desirous of deliverance should, therefore, cling to 
physical existence and sensual pleasures. 

Dutriwtthakasutta (S.N., pp. 153-154). One 
who praises liis own virtue and is dependent upon 
dogmas of philosophy that change from man to 
man and sect to sect lives a censured life. But 
a muni is not censured, for he is calm, and does 
not praise himself ; for he has shaken off all systems 
of philosophy and is, therefore, independent. 

1 " Yatha ahara tat ha ete attauam upamam katva na 

haneyya na ghataye (S.N., p. 137, v. 705), cf. Dhammapada, v. 129. 

252 A History of Pali Literature 

Suddhatthakasutta (S.N., pp. 154-156). Know- 
ledge of the systems of philosophy cannot purify a 
man ; for those devoted to philosophy go from one 
teacher to another and they are never calm and 
thoughtful. But the wise who have understood 
the Dhamma are never led by passion, and do not 
embrace anything in the world as the highest. 

Paramatthakasutta (S.N., pp. 156-158). One 
should not, therefore, give oneself up to philosophical 
disputations. A brahmana who does not adopt 
any system of philosophy, is unchangeable and 
has, therefore, attained Nirvana. 

Jardsutta (S.N., pp. 158-160). From selfishness 
come grief and avarice. The bhikkhu who has 
turned away from the world and wanders about 
houseless, is independent, and does not wish for 
purification through another. 

Tissametteyasutta (S.N., pp. 160-161). Tissa 
Metteya once wanted to hear from the Venerable 
One the defeat of him who is given to sensual 
intercourse. All sorts of vice, Gotama told him, 
follow in the train of sensual intercourse which 
should, therefore, always be avoided. 

Pasurasutta (S.N., pp. 161-163). Disputants 
dispute with each other and call each other fools, 
they wish for praise, but being repulsed they become 
discontented. But none is purified by dispute, says 
the Master. 

Mdgandiyasutta (S.N., pp. 163-166). This is a 
dialogue between Magandiya and Buddha. The 
former wanted to offer Buddha his daughter for a 
wife, but Buddha refused her. Magandiya was of 
opinion that purity came from philosophy, but 
Buddha held that it came from ' inward peace '. 
The muni is a confessor of peace, and he does not 

Purabhedasutta (S.N., pp. 166-168). This is a 
dissertation in which Buddha puts forth in detail 
the conduct and characteristics of a calm muni. 
He is free from craving, anger, desire, passion, and 
attachment. He is equable and thoughtful, he is 

Canonical Pali Literature 253 

houseless and has nothing in the world which he 
may call his own. He is calm and walks always in 
the path of Dhamma. 

Kalahavivddasutta (S.N., pp. 168-171). This is 
a dissertation on the origin of contentions and 
disputes, etc. From dear objects spring up conten- 
tions and disputes, from wish originate the dear 
objects in the world, from pleasure and displeasure 
springs up wish, from phassa (touch) spring up 
pleasure and displeasure, and so on and so forth. 

Culaviyuhasutta (8.N., pp. 171-174). Thissutta 
gives a description of disputing philosophers. The 
different schools of philosophy contradict one another, 
they proclaim different truths, but the truth is 
only one. As long as the disputations are going 
on so long will there be strife in the world. 

Mahdviyuhasutta (S.N., pp. 174-178). Philoso- 
phers cannot lead to purity, they only praise them- 
selves and stigmatise others. But a brahmana 
has overcome all disputes, and he is indifferent to 
learning, for he is calm and peaceful. 

Tuvaiakaxutta (8.N., pp. 179-182). A bhikkhu 
to attain bliss must cut off the root of papanca 
(sin) and of all cravings ; he should learn the 
Dhamma, and should not seek peace from any 
other quarter. He should be calm and meditative ; 
and follow other duties of a bliikkhu strictly and 
faithfully. He must avoid boasting and talking 
much and indolence and other human vices. 

Attadandasutta (S.N., pp. 182-185). This sutta 
sets forth the description of an accomplished muni. 
He should be truthful, undeceitful, sober, and free 
from avarice and slander. He must not be indolent, 
nor deviate from truth, nor have any desire for 
name and form. He should be thoughtful and 
know the highest wisdom. 

Sdriputtasutta 1 (S.N., pp. 185-189). Sariputta 
once asked Buddha what a bhikkhu is to devote 

1 " Karh so sikkham samadaya ekodi nipako sato malarh 

attano " (S.N., p. 186, v. 962), c Dhammapada, v. 239. 

254 A History of Pali Literature 

himself to. Thereupon Buddha spoke out to him 
some principles which he should lead and follow in 
life. A wise and thoughtful bhikkhu should be 
afraid of the five dangers, or of adversaries. He 
should learn to endure cold and heat ; he should not 
commit theft or speak falsehood or fall into the 
power of anger or arrogance. He should be guided 
by wisdom and exercise moderation in life, and so 
on and so forth. 


Vatthiu/dthd 1 (8.N., pp. 190-197). To the 
brahmana Bavari living on the banks of the Godavarl 
in the Assaka territory, came another brahmana, 
and asked for five hundred pieces of money. Bavari 
could not, however, comply with his request, upon 
which the brahmana cursed him saying, " May thy 
head on the seventh day hence cleave into seven ". 
A deity then comforted Bavari by referring him 
to the Buddha. Bavari then sent his sixteen dis- 
ciples to the Buddha, and each of them asked him 
a question to which the All-Wise gave fitting replies. 

Ajitamdnavapucchd 2 (&.JV., pp. 197-198). In 
reply to enquiries made by Ajita, Buddha spoke 
out to him that the world was shrouded by ignorance, 
by reason of avarice it did not shine and desire 
was its pollution ; that the dam of desire was thought- 
fulness ; and that the desire for ' name and form ' 
could only be stopped by the cessation of con- 

Tissametteyamdnavapucchd (8.N. 9 p. 199). In 
reply to enquiries made by Tissametteya, Buddha 
spoke out that the bhikkhu who abstained from 
sensual pleasures, who was free from desire, always 
thoughtful, happy by reflection, was without 

1 " Sace ca so pabbajati agara anagariyaxh . . . . araha bhavati 
anuttaro " (S.N., p. 193, v. 1003), cf. Lalitavistara (R. L. Mitra'sed.), 
pp. 116, 118. 

2 " Kena-ssu nivuto loko kizb su tassa mahabbhsyam " 

(S.N., p. 197, v. 1032), cf. Mahabharata, III, 17366; XII, 11030. 

Canonical Pali Literature 255 

commotions, he after knowing both ends did not 
stick in the middle as far as his understanding was 
concerned ; him he called a great man, and he had 
overcome craving in this world. 

Punnakamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 199-201). 
Questioned by the venerable Punnaka, the Blessed 
One told him that all sages and men, khattiyas and 
brahmanas, who offered sacrifices wished something, 
viz., praise and sensual pleasures, in return did not 
cross over birth and old age. Only he for whom 
there is no commotion, who is calm and free, can 
alone cross over birth and old age. 

Mettagumdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 201-204). 
Asked by Mettagu as to the origin of pain, Buddha 
told him that upadhi was the cause of pain. Asked 
next as to how did the wise cross the stream of 
birth and old age, Buddha told him that it was by 
knowing the Dhamma and by being thoughtful. 

Dhotakamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 204-205). 
Asked by Dhotaka as to how one could learn his 
own extinction, Buddha replied that one to learn 
this should be wise and thoughtful, and learn the 
best Dhamma. He must not have any doubt and 
should be calm and independent, above all, he 
must not have thirst for reiterated existence. 

Upaslvamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 205-207). 
Asked by Upasiva as to the means by which one 
may attain Nibbana, Buddha replied that having 
abandoned doubts and sensual pleasures one should 
reflect on nothingness day and night whereby one 
can attain Nibbana. He remains there without 
proceeding further, and he thus delivered from name 
and body cannot be reckoned any more as existing. 

Nandamdnavapwchd (S.N., pp. 207-209). Not 
because of any philosophical view, nor of knowledge, 
any one is called a muni, for purity can come from 
neither of these. Samanas and brahmanas who hold 

a contrary view and live accordingly in the world 
cannot cross over birth and old age. But those 
samanas and brahmanas who are free from craving 
and independent can easily cross over them. 

256 A History of Pali Literature 

Hernakamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 209-210). In 
pursuance of a request of Hemaka to know the 
Dhamma, Buddha told him that the destruction of 
passion and of desire was the imperishable state of 
Nibbana. Those who realise this have also under- 

% _^ 

stood the Dhamma and are, therefore, calm and 

Todeyyamdnavapucdid (S.N., pp. 210-211). In 
reply to queries made by Todeyya, Buddha replied, 
"he in whom there are no lust, no craving, no 
doubt, for him there is no other deliverance. He is 
possessed of understanding and knows the Dhamma." 

Kappamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 211-212). For 
those who stand in the middle of a formidable 
stream, there is a matchless island called Nibbana, 
which possesses nothing, grasps at nothing, and 
which is the destroyer of decay and death, so said 
the Buddha to the venerable Kappa. 

Jatukannimdrwvapucdid (S.N., pp. 212-213). 
In pursuance of a request made by Jatukanni, 
Buddha advised him to subdue greediness for 
sensual pleasures and for name and form ; then 
there would be 110 passions by which he might fall 
into the power of death. 

BJiadrdvudhamdnavapncchd (ti.N., pp. 213- 
214). A bhikkhu must not grasp after anything 
in all the world, for whatever they grasp after, just by 
that Mara follows the man, so said Buddha to 

Udayamdnavapucchd (8.N., pp. 214-215). In 
pursuance of queries made by Udaya, Buddha 
spoke out to him that deliverance lay in leaving 
lust, desire, grief, and sloth, and in the knowing and 
understanding Dhamma. The world, he continued, 
was bound by pleasure, and by leaving desire 
Nibbana could be attained. There was no con- 
sciousness for one who was thoughtful and who 
delighted not in sensation, so concluded the Master. 

Posdlarnanavapucchd (S.N., pp. 215-216). 
Tathagata who knows all the faces of consciousness, 
knows also him who stands delivered. Having 

Canonical Fall Literature 257 

understood that the bonds of pleasure did not 
originate in nothingness, he saw clearly in this 
matter, knowledge of a perfect accomplished 
brahmana, so said Buddha to the venerable Posala. 

Moghardjamdiwvapiicchd 1 (S.N.,pp. 216-217). 
Thrice asked by the venerable Mogharajan as to 
how one would look upon the world to cross over 
death, Buddha advised him to look upon the world 
as void, to be always thoughtful, and to reckon 
himself as not existing. By so doing one could 
overcome death. 

Pingiyamdnavapucchd (S.N., pp. 217-218). 
Requested by the old and feeble Pingiya to let 
him know how to overcome birth and decay, Buddha 
advised him to leave the body and desire behind 
so that he might not have to come to exist again. 

Thus Buddha was sought by sixteen brahmanas 
who were the sixteen disciples of Bavari to answer 
their sixteen questions to which the Master gave 
fitting and satisfactory replies. All of them having 
understood the meaning and tenor of each question 
lived according to the Dhamma, and went to the 
further shore of decay and death. Pingiya, there- 
fore, thought that he would proclaim accordingly 
the way to the further shore. This he did, and for 
his faith, he was, by the direction of Buddha, 
delivered to the further shore of death. 

There is a Sinhalese edition of this text by 

Pannatissa Thera and a Burmese 

^TraLfauiT edition published by Zabu Meit Swe 

Press, Rangoon, is available besides 
the P.T.S. edition by Andersen and Smith (1913). 
R. Otto Franke's articles, " Die Sutta-Nipata Gathas 
mit ihren Parallelen " in Zeitschrift der Deutschen 
Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, Vols. 63, 64, and 66 
(1909-1910, 1912) deserve mention and these are 
now available in a book form. There is a Deva- 
nagari edition by P. V. Bapat, M.A., Poona, 1924. 

1 " Sunnato lokam avekkhassu Mogharaja sada sato ns 

passati" (S.N., p. 217, verse 119), cf. Dhammapada, v. 170. 


258 A History of Pali Literature 

This text has been translated into English by 
Fausboll in S.B.E., Vol. X, and this is the earliest 
English translation. Lord Chalmers has translated 
it into English in the Harvard Oriental Series. 1 
Seidenstiicker is translating it in Zeitschrift fur 
Buddhismus, Munich. 

The oldest form of the Aryan language we 
find in the Rgveda. Vedic and 
classical Sanskrit represent this 
for the history of period, and this stage of the Aryan 

language is called the Old Indo- 
Aryan or Old Indo-Aryan stage. 
The Aryan language in the time of the Buddha 
represents another stage which is called the Middle 
Indo-Aryan or Middle Indo-Aryan stage in the 
line of development. Various Prakrits and Pali 
represent this period. There is also a third stage 
called New Indo-Aryan stage. Various modern 
vernaculars, such as Oriya, Bengali, Mahrati, etc., 
represent this period. 

It is maintained by majority of scholars that 
Pali is a midland dialect based on an old Middle 
Indo-Aryan dialect, which may be called an old 
form of the Saurasem language, with elements 
from other dialects, such as Paisaci, Gujarat!, and 
Magadhi. They are also of opinion that originally 
the Buddhist Canon was in the S variant of the 
Pracya or Magadhi speech and that later on the 
canon was translated into Pali and other languages. 
Pali is not a unique speech. Numerous double 
forms show that it is a language very much mixed 
indeed. To a large extent apparent dialectical de- 
posits and scholastic formations occur. But in spite 
of this rather heterogeneous character of the Pali 
language, a chronological development, a division 
of the history of the language in periods, a sort of 
stratification is clearly seen. We find four strata 
in the development of Pali. 

1 Prof. Lanman was kind enough to send me this English 
translation in proofs as the book was not then ready. I have found 
this translation very useful. 

Canonical Pali Literature 259 

(1) The speech of the metrical portions (the 
gathas in the canonical literature). This is of a very 
heterogeneous character. On one hand it retains 
many old speech forms separated from those of Old 
Indo- Aryan only through sound change, while on 
the other there are many standardised forms of 
Pali, new formations younger in point of time 
frequently occurring in the same verse : Pita and 
ranna are old, developed out of Old Indo-Aryan ; 
Pitussa and rajino are new formations. At times 
the exigencies of metre have determined the form 
employed, the choice being between the old form 
and the new one. When verses in an earlier form 
of speech, e.g., in the eastern speech of Asoka 
were altered into a later one, alteration of the 
archaic form was usually permitted when no violence 
was done to metre. Sutta Nipata is typical of this 

(2) The speech of the canonical prose. It is 
more uniform and more settled than that of the 
gathas. The archaic and dialectical forms are con- 
trolled, and in part disappear entirely. The change 
of archaic forms is no more capricious and random as 
in the previous stratum. But they are regulated 
properly by the grammatical rules of a standardised 
speech. Jataka is typical of this stratum. 

(3) The younger prose of the post-canonical 
literature as in the Milinda Panha and in the greater 
commentaries. It is based on the immediately 
preceding stratum and displays a scholarly and 
artistic modification of it. Consequently the dis- 
tance between the first stratum and the second 
stratum is greater than that between the second 
stratum and the third stratum. The third stratum 
can be distinguished from the second stratum by a 
greater restriction of the older forms and by a 
more elegant style. There is apparently the in- 
fluence of Sanskrit in it to a greater extent. 

(4) The speech of the later artistic poetry 
(cf. the Mahavamsa, the Dipavamsa, the Datha- 
vamsa, etc.). This does not bear any more uniform 

260 A History of Pali Literature 

character. The authors draw upon their knowledge 
of language and use forms indiscriminately from the 
older and newer strata. At times there is an air 
of archaism, but this is false; and Sanskritism is 

Mr. Fausboll, in his introduction to the Transla- 
tion of the Sutta Nipata, has drawn attention to the 
fact that there are many old Vedic forms of 
substantives and verbs in the plural, such as, 
samuhatase, paccayase, panditase, caramase, and 
sikkhissamase ; the shorter Vedic plurals as, 
vinicchaya lakkhana for vinicchayani lakkhanani ; 
shorter instrumental singulars as, manta, parinna, 
labhakamya for mantaya, parinfiaya, and labhakam- 
yaya ; Vedic infinitives as, vippahatave, unnametave, 
sampayatave ; contracted forms, such as, santya, 
duggacca, titthiya, sammucca ; thiyo by the side of 
protracted forms, such as, atumanam, suvami, 
suvana, as well as same archaic forms, as, sagghasi 
(=sakkhissasi), pava or pava (pavadati), pavecche 
(=paveseyya), sussarii ( = sunissami), datthu ( = 
disva), paribbasana (parivasamano), avocasi, 
ruppena, uggahayanti ; and some usual words like 
vyappatha, bhunahu, patiseniyanti, kyassa, upaya, 
and avivadata. Sometimes forms are contracted 
for the metre tad for tada, janetva for jenetva, 
yad for yada, sincitva for sincitva. Sometimes we 
meet with difficult and irregular constructions es- 
pecially in the Atthakavagga, and sometimes with 
very ambiguous or condensed words or expressions 
like diguna, ekaguna, kuppapaticcasanti, sanna- 
sanno, visannasanno, vibhutasanrio, etc. 

The Vimanavatthu is the sixth book. It gives 
._. . , in verse a graphic description of 

Vimanavatthu. ,. I/?IT_J JT_ 

certain celestial abodes enjoyed by 
the devas for having done meritorious deeds while 
on earth as human beings. The stories told in it 
induce listeners to lead a pure life and to do meri- 
torious deeds in order to obtain bliss after death. 
This work lays much emphasis on individual morality 
and duty and clearly shows the effect of karma, 

Canonical Pali Literature 261 

good, bad, or indifferent. The highest of pleasures 
that the heavens bestow has a limit according 
to the Buddhists. They can never bring about a 
final release from evil and hence the experiences in 
heaven, though pleasurable, are evils to be guarded 
against the more so on account of their luring 
attractiveness. Lord Zetland is right in pointing 
out that the heavens and hells, of which we read 
so much in the Vimanavatthu and the Petavatthu, 
may be said to exist for the purpose of providing 
a more elaborate stage than this earth can do, for 
the play of the ever revolving cycle of existence and 
all that it involves. The descriptions of the pleasures 
of heaven and the sorrows of hells are interesting 
as showing the nature of the rewards and punish- 
ments which in those early days were considered 
appropriate to particular acts of piety and to 
particular sins. 1 Rhys Davids says, " The whole 
set of beliefs exemplified in these books (Petavatthu 
and Vimanavatthu) is historically interesting as 
being in all probability the source of a good deal 
of mediaeval Christian belief in heaven and hell. 
But the greater part of these books, composed 
according to a set pattern, is devoid of style ; and 
the collection is altogether of an evidently later 
date than the bulk of the books included in this 
Appendix ". 2 

The Vimanavatthu has been edited by E. R. 
Gooneratne for the Pali Text Society, London. It 
has not yet been translated. 8 

The Petavatthu is the seventh book. It con- 
~ 4 _ tains little poems illustrating belief 

Petavatthu. ., . , r f ,. , P , , , 

ni the existence of lite beyond death, 
and sufferings after death for having done evil 
deeds while on earth. In the Southern Buddhist 

1 Foreword to my book, '" Heaven and Hell in Buddhist Perspec- 
tive ". 

2 Buddhism, its history and literature (American Lectures), 
p. 77. 

8 Mr. H. Gehman is preparing an English translation of this 
text together with that of the Petavatthu for S.B.B. 

262 A History of Pali Literature 

faith there is hardly any trace anywhere of the 
worship of a personal being whether an ancestor or 
a spirit or a deity. The lesson inculcated is a 
natural concomitant of the Law of Karma which 
is the central idea of the whole Buddhistic faith. 
The result of karma cannot be obviated, we must 
suffer for what we have done. It is a force which 
must produce its own consequence. A careful 
study of the Buddhist stories regarding spirits 
convinces us of the fact that a person is not a seeker 
after Nirvana nor the intellectual seeker after eternal 
verities or fundamental realities, but the ordinary 
everyday individual, the seeker after good things 
of earth, he who eats, drinks, and multiplies here 
below and wishes for the plenty of similar enjoy- 
ments in the life to follow after death. One great 
doctrine is dinned into our ears and that is, that 
charity here on earth, charity with a sincere heart 
while alive, is the only means of commanding the 
objects of pleasures after death. If one gives away 
plenty of food and drink while possessed of the 
earthly corporeal frame, he will be entitled to enjoy 
them hereafter. We also learn from the Petavatthu 
that the needs of the pretas and the pretls are 
identical with those of human beings in flesh and 
blood. They are oppressed with hunger and thirst. 
The passion of love and desire for companions of 
the other sex does not leave them ; and it is interest- 
ing to note in this connection that a lover in the 
spirit form whether of male or female sex enjoys 
fully the company of a comrade of the other sex 
who is still in the world of the living. It is clear 
that a preta cannot directly take food, drink or 
clothing by force or guile or even when voluntarily 
offered. A hand-to-hand interchange of these 
things is impossible between a man and a departed 
spirit. It is only when the gifts are made to a 
human being and the merits thereof transferred to 
the spirits that their comforts can reach the Peta 
and satisfy his needs. This is the fundamental 
idea of the Buddhist conception of the method of 

Canonical Pali Literature 263 

removing the disabilities and miseries of departed 
spirits, and this is also the basis of the Hindu 
conception of &raddha. In fact it is one of the 
established ideas of the Indian mind even from the 
Vedic days. A close study of the Petavatthu gives 
us some ideas as to the -character of the Petas 
which appears generally to have undergone a change 
for the better in their spirit life. Their hunger and 
thirst, their miseries and sufferings, the bitter 
experiences for past misconduct seem to have 
rubbed off their angularities, softened their temper, 
chastened their mind, and made them realise the 
truth that charity is the door to enjoyment of 
comfort in the other world. We hardly find them 
doing ill to others, they are too much pressed down 
with the burden of their own miseries to think of 
or to get any opportunity for doing mischief to 
others. They are suffering rather than malevolent 
spirits. The stories in the Petavatthu, though some 
among them may seem puerile and even absurd, 
have served to restrain a believer in the words of 
the Great Master, from straying away from the 
path of virtue, in his body, or his word or his action 
and have made him practise charity and ahimsa 
towards all living creatures. 

The Petavatthu has been edited in Roman 

character by Prof. Minayeff of St. 

Editions and Petersburg for the Pali Text Society 

translations ot the T-I i -i -rt -r-r -i i * t t 

Petavatthu. ot England. E. Hardy has written 

a paper on the " Notes for an edition 
of the Petavatthu " (J.P.T.S., 1904-1905). It has 
been translated into German by Dr. Stede known 
as " Die Gespenstergeschichteii des Petavatthu ", 
Leipzig, 1914. 

The Theragatha is the eighth book. This book 
-xu- together with the Therigatha has 

Theragatha. . IM. j T i j. i. 

been edited in Roman character by 
Drs. Oldenberg and Pischel for the P.T.S., London. 
It is a collection of poems, some of which are believed 
to have been sung by theras during the lifetime of 
the Buddha, and others shortly after his parinirvana. 

264 A History of Pali Literature 

These poems are conducive to the understanding of 
the religious theories and feelings prevalent in the 
Buddhist Order. The method of the arrangement 
of these gathas is what is generally followed in the 
Buddhist literature, viz., the single verses are 
placed first, then follow the dyads, triads, etc. The 
language of this book is not simple and in many 
places it is difficult to find out the meaning without 
the help of the commentary. 

There are two manuscripts : 

(1) MS. of the India Office (Phayre collection) 

written in Burmese character. 

(2) MS. of the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris 

(fonds Pali 91), Burmese writing. 

The Theragatha has been translated into English, 
known as Psalms of the Brethren, by Mrs. Rhys 
Davids and published by the P.T.S. 

The Therigatha is the ninth book. It is a collec- 
..,_ tion of verses attributed in the 

engat a. tradition of the Pali Canon to 73 
of the leading Theris or Sisters in the Order during 
the lifetime of Gotama himself. " A good many 
of the verses ascribed to them are beautiful in form, 
and not a few give evidence of a very high degree 
of that mental self-culture which played so great a 
part in the Buddhist ideal of the perfect life." 
Women of acknowledged culture are represented as 
being the teachers of men, and as expounding, 
to less advanced Brethren or Sisters in the Order, 
the deeper and more subtle points in the Buddhist 
philosophy of life. 1 

The available manuscripts are : 

(1) The Phayre MS. in the India Office 
Library, London Burmese writing 
19 leaves, 9 lines. 

1 Rhys Davids, Buddhism its history and literature (American 
Lectures), p. 72. 

Canonical Pali Literature 265 

(2) MS. of the Bibliotheque Nationale at 

Paris, fonds Pali, No. 91. 16 leaves, 
9 lines. Burmese writing. 

(3) MS. with Mr. Subhuti, 12 leaves, 9 lines. 

Sinhalese writing. 

(4) MS. with Mr. Subhuti, 20 leaves, 8 lines. 

Burmese writing. Dated Sakkaraj 

This work has been translated by Mrs. Rhys 
Davids known as Psalms of the Sisters, which is 
very useful. Two interesting papers on " the women 
leaders of the Buddhist reformation, as illustrated 
by Dhammapala's commentary on the Therigatha " 
(Transactions of the Ninth International Congress of 
Orientalists, London, 1893), and " Buddhist Women " 
by Dr. B. C. Law, published in the Indian Antiquary 
(March, April, and May, 1928), deserve mention. 
" Women Under Primitive Buddhism " by Miss 
I. B. Horner, should also be consulted. There is a 
Bengali translation of this work by Mr. Bijoy 
Chandra Majumdar. 

Mrs. Rhys Davids in her introduction to the 

f _ , Psalms of the Brethren says, re- 
Essence of Bud- ,. ., i , i -i j i 

dhism involved in garding the doctnne involved in the 
1 stha Thera ' TherI " Theragatha, " anicca, dukkha, 
ga a ' anatta, the four truths, the Aryan 

Path, the seven Buddhas, Arahants as no less Buddha 
and Tathagata than their Great Master, and so 
forth : such is the range of the ancient Theravadism 
of these poems " (Introduction, p. xxii). Our know- 
ledge of the ancient Theravadism is also derived 
from the Suttantas, the Sutta Nipata, and the 

It is amply sufficient to say that some parts of 
the Pali Canon are later than others, and that the 
books, as we have them, contain internal evidence 
from which conclusions may fairly be drawn as to 
their comparative age. Prof. Rhys Davids in his 
Buddhist India says, regarding the Sutta Nipata, 
that single verses, single poems, and single cantos, 

266 A History of Pali Literature 

had all been in existence before the work assumed 
its present shape. He further says that this is very 
suggestive as to the manner of growth not only of 
this book, but of the Indian literature of this period. 
It grew up in schools ; and was the result rather of 
communistic than of individual effort. What applies 
to the Sutta Nipata also applies to the Dhammapada. 
That many of its verses were current as proverbs 
or as favourite sayings before they were independent- 
ly incorporated in the poems in which they are now 
found, nobody can question. The same is the case 
with the Theragatha poems. Though Dr. Winternitz 
suggests signs of later thought in Khanda-Sumana's 
stanza in the Theragatha, yet the great bulk of the 
poems is relatively early. This seems probable by 
both the doctrine and diction of them. 

These remarks are sufficient to maintain our 
contention that the importance of the Theragatha, 
the Sutta Nipata, the Dhammapada, and the 
Suttantas lies in the fact that these are the main 
sources for our knowledge of ancient Theravadisnu 
The difference both in doctrine and diction that 
exists between these works and other works of the 
Pali canonical literature enables us to distinguish 
between ancient and later Theravadism. It is 
worthy of notice that the idea of 25 Buddhas is a 
later one. The earlier Pali books know only of 
seven Buddhas. 

When we turn to the Therigatha, the most 
important thing that strikes us here is the idea of 
Nibbana as held by the Theris. In order to give a 
purview of how the Theris envisaged their summum 
bonum, we shall deal with Nibbana in its two aspects 
negative and positive, as we find in their gathas. 

In its negative aspect Nibbana means the going 
out of greed, ill-will, and dulness and also freedom 
from these. It has been also variously described as 
comfort, end to ill, end of becoming or life, end of 
craving, and rest. 

In its positive aspect Nibbana, as subjectively 
considered, means mental illumination conceived as 

Canonical Pali Literature 267 

light, insight, state of feeling happiness, and cool 
and calm and content (sitibhava, nibbata, upasamo, 
peace and safety, state of will self-mastery). 
Nibbana, when objectively considered, means truth, 
the highest good, a supreme opportunity, a regulated 
life, communion with the Best, and bringing con- 
genial work. 

The Jataka is the tenth book. It is widely 
T _ , studied by the students of the 

Jataka. , . . ^ -.. . -r * 

history of religion. Professor 
Fausboll edited the Jataka for the first time in six 
volumes and he prepared a volume on Index. The 
English translation of this work by various scholars 
under the editorship of Co well has no doubt made the 
study of the Jatakas very easy, especially for those 
who do not know the original language in which the 
Jatakas were written. Professor Rhys Davids under- 
took to translate the Jatakas but he was obliged 
to give it up after the appearance of one volume. 
It is interesting to note that each story opens 
with a preface which describes the circumstances 
in the life of the Buddha which led him to tell the 
birth story and thus reveal some events in the long 
series of his previous existences as a Bodhisatta. 
At the end there is always given a brief summary 
where the Buddha identifies the different persons 
in the story in their present births. The stories are 
very interesting as they throw a flood of light on 
the social, political, and religious life of the people 
in ancient India. 

The Jataka was composed in North India in 
the so-called ' middle country ' (Madhyadesa) (Rhys 
Davids, Buddhist India, p. 172). It consists of 
gathas or stanzas only, and is divided into twenty- 
two sections (iiipatas), which are arranged according 
to the number of stanzas belonging to or forming 
a Jataka. The first section is supposed to contain 
150 Jatakas, each verse belongs to a separate 
story ; the second, 100 Jatakas, with two verses 
each ; the third, 50 Jatakas, with three verses each, 
and so on. Each successive section (nipata) 

268 A History of Pali Literature 

contains a larger number of stanzas and a smaller 
number of Jatakas. These gathas are in many 
oases poetic tales or ballads or epic poems. Verses 
are attached to all the Jatakas. They are, in a few 
instances, in the framework and not in the stories 
themselves. The stories without the verses may be 
said to have preserved the original form of Indian 
folklore. Some of the stories are noticed also in 
the Pancatantra, Kathasaritsagara, etc. Some have 
parallels in the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the 
Puranas, and the Jain literature. It would not 
perhaps be unreasonable to hold that most of 
the stories were derived from existing folklore of 
North India (Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, pp. 207- 
208). The Jatakas are frequently quoted in the 
later books of the Milinda Pafiha. Many Jatakas 
occur in the Mahavastu 1 in prose as well as in verse 
in mixed Sanskrit. Some of them are variants of 
Pali Jatakas while others are not found in the Pali 

It would not be out of place to give here gists 
of some of the Jataka stories which are remarkable 
for their variety. 

A young man finding a dead mouse sold it. 
He got some money with which he carried on trade 
and became rich (Cullakasetthi Jataka, Jat., Vol. I). 
There were incompetent valuers (Tandulanali 
Jataka, Jat. I) and there was a strong belief in being 
seized by an ogre (Devadhamma Jataka, Vol. I). A 
king finding a grey hair in his head forsook his 
family life ((Makhadeva Jataka, cf. Nimi Jataka, 
Vol. I). A king of the deer not only saved his own 
life but also the life of all creatures at the risk of 
his own life (Nigrodhamiga Jataka, Vol. I). A 
brahmin desiring to give food to the dead was about 
to sacrifice a goat which showed signs of great 
joy and of great sorrow. The goat explained the 
reason for each emotion (Matakabhatta Jataka). 
True release does not lie in offering sacrifice ( Ayacita- 

1 Vide my work, " A Study of the Mahavastu ", pt. II Stories. 

Canonical Pali Literature 269* 

bhatta Jataka, Vol. I). There was a pool haunted 
by ogre (Nalapana Jataka, Vol. I). The Kulavaka 
Jataka relates as to how a man through the practice 
of goodness went to heaven and how his three 
wives were reborn in heaven as a reward of their 
doing good deeds. A tree caught fire, the wise 
birds flew, the foolish ones remained and were burnt 
to ashes (Sakuna Jataka, Vol. I). A treasurer gave 
alms to a Paccekabuddha though Mara tried to 
prevent him from doing so (Khadirangara Jataka, 
Vol. I). A king put a stop to sacrifices of living 
creatures (Dummedha Jataka, Vol. I). The 
Andabhuta Jataka (Vol. I) relates the innate 
wickedness of women. The Surapana Jataka (Vol. 
I) deals with the effects of strong drinks on 
hermits. The Asatarupa Jataka (Vol. I) relates 
how a city was captured by stopping the supply 
of water and firewood. A slave forging his master's 
name married a rich wife. The master did not take 
any revenge but he taught the slave's wife to 
restrain her husband's arrogance (Katahaka 
Jataka, Vol. I). A wicked prince is reformed by 
the analogy of poisonous seedling (Ekapanna Jataka, 
Vol. I). Some shipwrecked mariners escaped from 
a city of goblins by the aid of a flying horse (Vala- 
hassa Jataka, Vol. II). A king of Benares was 
most tyrannical. At his death the porter of the 
royal palace mourned fearing that the king should 
prove too much for the King of Death and should be 
sent back again to earth (Mahapingala Jataka, 
Vol. II). Some men won a treasure by digging, but 
they dug too much and lost it again (Jarudapana 
Jataka, Vol. II). A brave man saved a caravan from 
robbers (Khurappa Jataka, Vol. II). A king was 
taken captive and suffered much at the hands of his 
enemy, but by his patience and suffering he won over 
his enemy through repentance (Ekaraja Jataka, 
Vol. III). A king killed his own son out of jealousy 
as his queen showed much affection for the son. 
The king was punished by being thrown into hell 
(Culladhammapala Jataka, Vol. III). A foolish 

270 A History of Pali Literature 

mendicant mistook the butting of a ram for a 
respectful salutation. He met with his death owing 
to his foolishness (Cammasataka Jataka, Vol. III). 
A wicked king cruelly maltreated an ascetic who 
patiently endured the maltreatment. The king was 
thrown into hell (Khantivadi Jataka, Vol. III). Sakka 
was pleased with an ascetic and offered him boons. 
The ascetic made a wise choice of boons (Kanha 
Jataka, Vol. IV). Two princes with then: sister went 
to a forest. They came to know of their father's death. 
The eldest prince sent his slippers to take his own 
place on the throne. They were displeased when 
the news of wrong judgment came to their ears 
(Dasaratha Jataka, Vol. IV). Jealous of a holy 
ascetic, Sakka approached the king of a country 
and said that the drought from which the land 
was suffering, was due to the ascetic. The king 
advised by Sakka sent his daughter to beguile the 
ascetic. The ascetic fell a victim to the temptation. 
But the ascetic's father who was away, returned to 
his son and cautioned him against the wiles of 
womankind (Nalinika Jataka, Vol. V). A king 
developed a taste for human flesh. In order to 
supply himself with favourite food he used to murder 
his own subjects. His action became known to all 
and he was driven out of his kingdom. Once he 
captured a king who had been his friend and teacher. 
The king was released on condition that he should 
return as soon as he fulfilled his promise. The king 
kept his words. The man-eater being pleased with 
the king desired to give him four boons. At the 
request of the king the man-eater gave up canni- 
balism (Mahasutasoma Jataka, Vol. V). A king 
questioned an ascetic as to the various moral duties. 
He himself indulged in pleasures but his daughter 
was virtuous. She tried to save him from heretical 
beliefs. At last the Buddha converted him (Maha- 
narada Kassapa Jataka, Vol. VI). Four kings in- 
cluding Sakka disputed as to who was the most 
virtuous. For the solution they came to a wise 
man who decided that they were all equal. The 

Canonical Pali Literature 271 

wife of the Naga king desired the heart of that wise 
man. The Naga king sent a yakkha to kill the 
wise man who won over the yakkha to his side 
(Vidhurapandita Jataka, Vol. VI). 

The gists of some of the Jatakas given above 
may lead one to believe that the Jatakas are 
but amusing tales, having no serious lessons to 
impart. But the fact is otherwise. A careful 
perusal of the Jataka stories will not fail to convince 
a thoughtful reader that these stories have various 
purposes to serve. 

We read in the Saddharmapundarika, V (S.B.E., 
xxi, 1884, 120), that the Buddha 
knowing the differences in faculties 
and energy of his numerous hearers, 
preaches in many different ways, tells many tales, 
amusing, agreeable, both instructive and pleasant, 
tales by means of which all beings not only become 
pleased with the law in this present life, but also 
after death will reach happy states ; and in the 
same book it is stated (ii. 44, S.B.E., xxi. 44 f.) 
that the Buddha teaches both by sutras and 
stanzas and by legends and Jatakas. It is, 
indeed, likely enough that Gautama Buddha himself 
made use of popular tales in preaching to the people. 
It is certain that the Buddhist monks and preachers 
did so. In his numerous existences before he came 
to be born as Sakyamuni who was to be the Buddha, 
the Bodhisattva had been born according to his 
karma, sometimes as a god, sometimes as a king, 
or a merchant, or a nobleman, or an outcaste, or 
an elephant, or some other man or animal. It was 
thus only necessary to identify the hero or any 
other character of a story with the Bodhisattva in 
order to turn any tale, however secular or even 
frivolous, into a Jataka. Some of the stories which 
were afterwards turned into Jatakas are told in the 
suttas as simple tales, without any reference to the 
Bodhisattva (cf. Cullavagga, vi. 3, with the Tittira 
Jataka, No. 37 ; or Mahavagga, x. 2, 3, with the 
Dlghiti Kosala Jataka, No. 37 1). On the other hand 

272 A History of Pali Literature 

there are some real Jatakas included in the suttas 
e.g., the Kutadanta Sutta and Mahasudassana Sutta 
in the Digha Nikaya. That the Jatakas form an 
essential part of the Buddhist Canon is shown by 
the fact that they are included in the list of nine 
angas (twelve Dharmapravacanas in the Sanskrit 
Buddhist Canon) into which the Sacred Books of 
the Buddhists were divided according to the subject- 
matter as the seventh anga (the ninth Dharma- 
pravacana). 1 The Jatakas preserve an invaluable 
record of the history of Indian literature. 

The Jatakas are highly important for the 

history of Buddhism, as they give us 

J5 , tak ^ popu ~ an insight into popular Buddhism. 

lar Buddhism. e> r r 

The whole system of Jatakas is 
based on the most popular dogma of Karma, and 
the ethical ideal of this religion is not the Arhat 
who has attained to Nirvana, but the Bodhisattva 


who in all his former existences has shown one 
or more of the great virtues by which he prepared 
himself for becoming the future Buddha. However, 
high or low he may have been born, in every 
Jataka he is either helpful, kind, and self- 
sacrificing or brave, clever and even possessing 
supernatural wisdom. Jatakas like those of king 
Sivi (No. 499), who gave away his eyes as a gift, 
or of prince Vessantara (No. 547), who even gave 
away his children as a gift to a wicked brahmana, 
are standard texts for this ideal of ethics. It may 
easily be understood how the theory of the para- 
mitas which has become important in the Mahayana 
Buddhism, though not mentioned in the Jataka 
gathas, but only in the Buddha vamsa, Cariyapitaka, 
and the Jataka Commentary, was already latent in 
the Jataka theory. It is no wonder that the 
Jatakas belong as much to the Mahayana as to the 
Hinayana Buddhism. They are indeed the common 
property of all Buddhist sects in all Buddhist 

1 Vide Dr. Winternitz's article " The Jataka " in Hastings' 
Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VII, pp. 491 ff. 

Canonical Pali Literature 273 

countries. They were the chief vehicle of Buddhist 
propaganda and are the chief witnesses of popular 
Buddhism. 1 Rhys Davids 2 says, "Our existing 
Jataka book is only a partial record. It does not 
contain all the Jatakas that were current, in the 
earliest period of their literature, among the Buddhist 
community. I venture to suggest that the character 
of ten earlier Jatakas, in their pre-Jataka shape, 
enables us to trace their history back beyond the 
Buddhist literature altogether. None of them are 
specially Buddhist. They are modified, perhaps 
more or less to suit Buddhist Ethics. But even the 
Mahasudassana, which is the most so, is in the main 
simply an ancient Indian legend of sun worship. 
And the rest are pre-Buddhistic Indian folklore. 
There is nothing peculiarly Buddhist about them. 
Even the ethics they inculcate are Indian. What is 
Buddhist about them, in this their oldest shape, is 
only the selection made. There was, of course, 
much other folklore, bound up with superstition. 
This is left out. And the ethic is, of course, of a 
very simple kind. It is milk for babes. This 
comes out clearly in the legend of the Great Eong of 
Glory the Mahasudassana. In its later Jataka 
form it lays stress on the impermanence of all 
earthly things, on the old lesson of the vanity of 
the world. In its older form, as a suttanta, it lays 
stress also on the ecstasies (the Jhanas), which are 
perhaps pre-Buddhistic and on the sublime con- 
ditions (the Brahma- Viharas) which are certainly 
distinctively Buddhistic. These are much deeper 
and more difficult matters." 

" So much for the earliest forms in which we 
find the Jatakas. The next evidence in point of 
date is that of the bas-reliefs on the Bharhut and 
Safichi Stupas those invaluable records of ancient 
Indian archaeology. Among the carvings on the 
railings round these stupas are a number of scenes, 

1 Vide Dr. Winternitz's article, " The Jataka " in Hastings' 
Encyclopaedia of R. and E., p. 494, Vol. VII. 

2 Buddhist India, pp. 196-198. 


274 A History of Pali Literature 

each bearing as a title in characters of the third 
century B.C. the name of a Jataka ; and also other 
scenes without a title but similar in character. 
Twenty-seven of the scenes have been recognised 
as illustrating passages in the existing Jataka Book. 
Twenty-three are still unidentified, and some of 
these latter are meant, no doubt, to illustrate Jataka 
stories current in the community, but not included 
in the canonical collection." The very fact that 
the Jataka stories served as favourite topics for 
sculptures and paintings through all the centuries 
in all Buddhist countries, goes to show the immense 
popularity of the Jatakas which are found in 
India in Bharhut, Sanchi, and Bodh-Gaya in the 
third or second century B.C., in Amaravati in the 
second century A.D., and later on in the caves 
of Ajanta. Hundreds of bas-reliefs representing 
scenes from Jatakas are found decorating the famous 
temples of Boro-Budur in Java (ninth century A.D.) 
mostly based on legends in the Lalitavistara, of 
Pagan in Burma (thirteenth century A.D.), and of 
Sukhadaya in Siam (fourteenth century A.D.). 1 

According to Professor Rhys Davids, the 
edition of the Jatakas by Fausboll is an edition of 
the commentary written probably in the fifth century 
A.D. by an unknown author who, as Childers thinks, 
was Buddhaghosa (Buddhist India, pp. 200-201). 
Whether this commentary was actually written by 
Buddhaghosa or not, the numerous Jatakas quoted 
or narrated by Buddhaghosa in his commentaries 
show a close agreement with the commentary edited 
by Fausboll. 

Dr. Fick says that so far as the verses and the 
prose portions of the stories are concerned, as 
distinct from the framework, they have been scarcely 
altered from the original state (Dr. Fick, Sociale 
Gliederung im nordostlichen Indian Zu Buddha's 
Zeit, pp. vi and vii). 

1 Hastings* Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. VII, 
p. 494. 

Canonical Pali Literature 275 

Hof rath Biihler points out that the Jatakas make 
no mention of the Nandas and Mauryas. 

The state of civilisation described in the Jatakas 
is no doubt very ancient in many respects. The 
Jatakas describe the palaces of kings as built 
of wood. They are full of materials which help us 
a great deal in reconstructing the history of ancient 
India, but we should be cautious in accepting them 
wholesale as historical evidences. 

Prof. Rhys Davids holds that whole of the 
longer stories, some of them as long as a modern 
novellete, contained in Vol. VI of the edition, are 
later, both in language and hi their view of social 
conditions in India than those in the earlier volumes. 
Yet several of those latest in the collection are shown 
by the bas-reliefs to have been already in existence 
in the third century B.C. And this holds good, 
not only of the verses, but also of the prose, for 
the bas-reliefs refer to the prose portions of the 
tales (see in the Appendix under Vidhura, Sama, 
Ummagga, and Vessantara Jatakas). 

It is possible to conclude, says Rhys Davids, 
that some of the tales, when they were first adopted 
into the Buddhist tradition, were already old. We 
have seen above that out of those tales of which we 
can trace the pre-Jataka book form, a large propor- 
tion, 60 to 70 per cent., had no verses. Now in the 
present collection, we do not find verses in the 
majority of tales. And there are other tales, where 
the verses do not occur in the story itself, but are 
put like a chorus, into the mouth of a fairy (devata) 
who has really nothing else to do with the story. 
It follows that these stories existed, without the 
verses, before they were adopted into the Buddhist 
scheme of Jatakas by having verses added to them, 
and they are therefore probably not only pre- 
Buddhistic but very old. 

Dr. Rhys Davids further adds that the custom 
on which the Jataka system is based of handing 
down tales or legends in prose, with the conversation 
in verse is itself pre-Buddhistic. And the Jataka 

276 A History of Pali Literature 

Book is only another example of that pre-epic form 
of literature of which there are many shorter speci- 
mens preserved in the earlier books of the canon 
(Buddhist India, pp. 205-206). 

The Jataka has been translated from Pali into 

English by various hands under the 

Lite Ta t t U aka s n the editorship of E. B. Cowell in six 

vols. Etude Sur les Jatakas Par 
Leon Fur, Paris, 1875 (reprinted from Journal 
Asiatique, 1875); Nine Jatakas by L. H. Elwell, 
Boston, 1886 ; Lineage of the proud King by Robert 
Chalmers, J.R.A.S., 1892 ; Serge D'Oldenberg " On 
the Buddhist Jatakas " by H. Wenzel, J.R.A.S., 
1893 (a valuable paper in which three tables of 
parallels are given. The Jatakas and the Jain 
parallels and the Jatakas in the Mahavastu are also 
discussed in it) ; Notes on the Buddhist bas-reliefs 
by Oldenberg, J.R.A.S., 1896 ; Index to the Jatakas 
by Rouse, J.P.T.S., 1890. 

M. Winternitz Die Jatakas in ihrer Bedentung 
fur die Geschichte der indischen und ausserindischen 
Literatur und Kunst., Berlin, 1913. 

Keilhorn The Jatakas and Sanskrit Gram- 
marians, J.R.A.S., 1898. 

Dr. M. Gester The Nigrodha-Miga-Jataka and 
the Life of St. Eustathins Placidus, J.R.A.S., 1894. 

T. W. Rhys Davids" The Last to go forth ", 
J.R.A.S. 1891. (This paper contains some curious 
passages from the Jatakas. Rhys Davids attempts 
to make the meanings of these passages clearer.) 

H. T. Francis and E. J. Thomas Jataka Tales. 

Stories of the Buddha by Mrs. Rhys Davids, 
D.Litt., M.A. (The Treasure House of Eastern 
Story under the editorship of Sir E. D. Ross.) 

Buddhist Birth-stories (Jataka Tales) by T. W. 
Rhys Davids and revised by Mrs. Rhys Davids, with 
notes and Index. (George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.) 

Tripitaka Edition of Buddhist Jatakas and 
Avadana (12 vols.). 

N. B. Utgikar Some points of contact between 
the Mahabharata and the Jatakas J.B.B.R.As., 

Canonical Pali Literature 277 

Vol. IV, Nos. 1 and 2. Story of the Dasaratha 
Jataka and of the Ramayana by the same author 
(J.R.A.S., centenary supplement, pp. 203 foil.). The 
Bengali translation of the Jatakas by Rai Shaheb 
Ishanchunder Ghosh deserves mention. 

Notes on five Bharaut Epithets by B. M. Barua, 
M.A., D.Litt. Identification of four Jatakas at 
Bharaut by Dr. B. M. Barua. 

The eleventh and the twelfth books are styled 
^ e Mahaniddesa and the Cullanid- 
desa. They contain " a detailed 
explanation by Sariputta of 33 sutras belonging to 
the last two vaggas of Sutta Nipata, from Kamasutta 
to Khaggavisana Sutta ". The P.T.S., London, 
has published an edition of the Mahaniddesa in 
Roman character under the able editorship of L. De 
La Vallee Poussin and E. J. Thomas. 

The P.T.S. edition of the Mahaniddesa is based 
upon three MSS. : (1) King of Siam's printed edition 
of the Tripitaka, (2) Phayre MS. in the British 
Museum, and (3) A Sinhalese MS. The P.T.S. 
edition of the Cullaniddesa is based on (1) Palm- 
leaf MS. in Sinhalese character, (2) Palm-leaf MS. 
in Burmese character, and (3) the Cullaniddesa in 
the printed Siamese Tripitaka, Vol. XXVII. 

It is a sort of word-for-word comment or gloss 
on the Atthakavagga of the Sutta Nipata. The 
Atthakavagga consists of ten sections while the 
Sutta Nipata is divided into 16 sections. 

The Cullaniddesa deals in the first place with 
all the sections of the Parayanavagga of the Sutta 
Nipata and in the second place with the Khaggavi- 
sana Sutta of the Uragavagga of the Sutta Nipata. 
In the Uragavagga there are altogether twelve 
suttas, of which the only one, the Khaggavisana 
Sutta, has been dealt with in the Cullaniddesa. 

Dr. Stede, who has edited the Cullaniddesa 
for the P.T.S., writes in the introduction to the 
Cullaniddesa that the Niddesa or Exposition consists 
chiefly in the interpretation of each word. This 
interpretation is repeated at every place where the 

278 A History of Pali Literature 

word is found in the text, and is literally the same 
all through. Very seldom a paraphrase of a sentence 
or part of a sentence is given, and in some cases a 
quotation from Canonical Books (" Vuttam h'etam 
Bhagavata ") takes the place of an explanation ; 
but the rule is, that, once the words are made clear, 
the stanza is " exposed " (Introduction, p. xxii). 

We give below interpretations of some words 
from the Niddesa : 

Muni. The term muni is applied by the 
Buddha to any man attaining perfection in self- 
restraint and insight. In the Niddesa (I, p. 57), 
we find several schedules of muni-qualities, especially 
based on the threefold division of character as 
revealed in action (kaya), speech (vaci), and thought 
(mano). Just as these three are in general exhibited 
in good or bad ways of living (sucaritam and duccari- 
tarii), they are applied to a deeper quality of saint- 
ship in kaya-moneyya, vaci-moneyya, and mano- 
moneyya ; or muni-hood in action, speech, and 
thought. The Niddesa (I, p. 58) also gives a division 
of six munis agara-muni, anagara (bhikkhus), sekha 
(learners), asekha (arahants), pacceka (the Paeceka- 
Buddhas), and muni (the Tathagatas). 

Kama. The Niddesa (I, pp. 1-2) distinguishes 
between two kinds of Kamas : (1) Vatthukama 
desires relating to a base, i.e., physical organ or 
external object (e.g., riipa, sadda, gandha, rasa, etc.), 
and (2) Kilesakama desire considered subjectively 
[e.g., chando (desire), rago (passion), samkappo 
(determination), etc.]. 

Sikkha. According to the Niddesa (I, pp. 39- 
40) there are tisso sikkha : (1) aclhislla sikkha 
including Khuddaka sllakkhandho and Mahanto 
silakkhandho (ten precepts, etc.), (2) adhicittasikkha 
including the four jhanas, and (3) adhipaniiasikkha 
including dukkha, dukkha-samudaya, dukkha- 
nirodha, dukkha-nirodhagaminipatipada. 

Bhikkhu (Niddesa, I, p. 70). He is called the 
bhikkhu who has freed himself from the seven evil 
qualities, e.g., sakkayaditthi (speculation as to the 

Canonical Pali Literature 279 

eternity or otherwise of one's own individuality), 
vicikiccha (doubt), silabbata-paramaso (the con- 
tagion of mere rule and ritual), rago (passion), doso 
(malice), moho (delusion), and mano (pride). 

Dhono (Niddesa, I, p. 77). It means panfia 
or wisdom. 

Ogha (Niddesa, I, p. 159). There are four 
kinds of oghas (oceans of evils), e.g., kama (desire), 
bhava 1 (becoming), ditthi (wrong views), and avijja 

Kusala (Niddesa, I, p. 171). Kusala (skilful) 
means khandha^kusala (constituent element), 
Dhatu (element), Ayatana (element of sense-percep- 
tion), Paticcasamuppada (dependent origination), 
Satipatthana (application of mindfulness), Sam- 
mappadhana (right exertion), Iddhipada (bases of 
iddhi or miracle), Indriya (sense-organs), Bala 
(powers), Bojjhanga (elements of knowledge), Magga 
(path), Phala (fruition), and Nibbana (salvation). 

Gdmakathd (Niddesa, I, p. 367). It contains 
gossips about kings, thieves, soldiers, battles, drink- 
ing, vehicles, relatives, women, etc. 

Loka (Niddesa, I, p. 409). Various world- 
systems are described : 

Niraya loka (hell). 

Tiracchanayoniloko (realm of the brute 


Pittivisaya (the realm of the departed spirits). 

Khandha (the world of sensory aggregates). 
Dhatu (ten dhatu lokas). 
Ayatana (sphere). 
Ayam loko (this world). 

1 According to the P.T.S. Dictionary, Bhava means becoming, 
(form of) rebirth, (state of) existence, a life. For a discussion on 
this subject, see Mrs. Rhys Davids' A Manual of Buddhism, pp. 
121-122. If we take the root meaning, it is "becoming". R. C. 
Childers translates "bhava" as "existence, birth, origin". The 
difference between * existence ' and ' becoming ' is very slight. We, 
however, consider the view of Mrs. Rhys Davids to be sound. 

280 A History of Pali Literature 

Paro loko (the next world). 
Sabrahmaloko (the world of Brahma). 
Sadevaloka (the world of gods). 

Ejd (Niddesa, I, p. 441). It means tanha 

Ganthdni (Niddesa, I, p. 329). There are four 
kinds of bonds, usually called the four bodily ties 
(kayagantho) : abhijjha covetousness, byapado 
malevolence, silabbataparamSso the contagion of 
mere rule and ritual ; idamsaccabhinivesa- inclina- 
tion to say : only this is the truth, i.e., inclination 
to dogmatise. 

Pubbdsava (Niddesa, /, p. 331). Past rupam 
(material qualities), Vedana (feeling), Safina (Percep- 
tion), Samkhara (coefficients of consciousness), 
Vinnanam (consciousness). 

Vivata Cakkhu (Niddesa, 1, p. 354) means 
* open-minded ', ' clear-sighted '. The five kinds of 
the sense of sight are : Mamsa Cakkhu (bodily eye), 
Dibba Cakkhu (divine eye), Pafiiia Cakkhu (the eye 
of wisdom), Buddha Cakkhu (the eye of a Buddha), 
and Samanta Cakkhu (all seeing). 

Parissaya (Niddesa, I, pp. 360-361) means 
danger, risk or trouble. The Parissayas are of two 
kinds : (1) Pakata external danger from lion, tiger, 
and other ferocious beasts and also from various 
diseases, such as cholera, leprosy, etc., (2) Patic- 
channa internal danger from anger, hatred, de- 
lusion, desire, and so forth. 

Kanha (Niddesa, I, p. 489). Mara, the evil one, 
is also called Kanho and Namuci. 

The Mahaniddesa (or the Niddesa I) also 
contains references to many miscellaneous matters. 
Cattaro ddsd (four kinds of slaves) antojatako daso, 
dhanakkitako daso, samam va dasavisayam upeti, 
akamako va dasavisayam upeti : born slave, bought 
by money, himself becomes a slave, out of fear 
(bhaya) one becomes a slave (Niddesa, I, p. 11). 

Cattaro bandhu (four kinds of friends) nati- 
bandhava, gottabandhava, mantabandhava, sippa- 
bandhava (Niddesa, I, p. 11). 

Canonical Pali Literature 281 

Naro classification Khattiyo, Brahmano, 
Vesso, Suddo, Gahattho (householder), Pabbjito 
(monk), Devo, Manusso (Niddesa, I, p. 11). 

Various diseases (Niddesa, I, p. 13) Cakkhurogo 
(disease of sight), Sotarogo (disease of hearing), 
Ghanarogo (disease of smelling), Jivharogo (disease 
of taste), Kayarogo (disease of body), Sisarogo 
(disease of head), Kannarogo (disease of ear), 
Mukharogo (disease of mouth), Dantarogo (disease 
of teeth), Kaso (cough), Saso (asthma), Pinaso 
(cold in the head), Paho (burning), Jaro (old age 
disease), Kucchirogo (abdominal trouble), Muccha 
(fainting), Pakkhandika (diarrhoea), Sula (acute 
pain), Visucika (cholera), Kuttham (leprosy), Gando 
(boil), Kilaso (a cutaneous disease, perhaps leprosy), 
Soso (consumption), Apamaro (Epilepsy), Daddu 
(ringworm), Kandu (itches), Kacchu (itches), 
Rakhasa, Vitacchika (scabies), Lohitapittam (the bile 
with blood), Madhumeho (diabetes), Amsa, PUaka 
(boil), Bhagandala (Fistula), Pittasamutthana (rising 
of bile), Semhasamutthana (rising of phlegm), Vata- 
samutthana (wind disease), Sannipatika (disease 
resulting from the union of the humours of the 
body), Utuparinamaja abadha (change of the season 
as cause of disease), Visamapariharaja abadha 
(diseases resulting from miscarriage). 

Various doctrines. The Mahaniddesa deals with 
various doctrines which the Buddha condemns as 
fruitless (Niddesa, I, p. 64) : Sassatoloko, Asassa- 
toloka (eternal or non-eternal), Antava loko, 
Anantava loko (finite or infinite), tam jivaih tarn 
sariram, annam jivaih aniiam sariram (identity of 
soul and body or non-identity of the same). 

Various religious beliefs (Niddesa, /, p. 89). 
Some Samanas and Brahmanas are the worshippers 
of elephants, horses, cows, dogs, crows, fire, serpent, 
goblin, demon, sun, moon, Inda, Brahma, gods 
Krishna and Balarama, four directions, a kind of 
fairy bird and Punnabhaddha, perhaps a Yakkl 
(Hatthivattika, Assavattika, Govattika, Kul 
vattika, Kakavattika, Vasudevavattika, 

282 A History of Pali Literature 

vattika, Punnabhaddavattika, Aggivattika, Naga- 
vattika, Manibhaddavattika, Supanna vattika, 
Yakkha vattika, Asura vattika, Gandhabba, Maharaja, 
Canda, Suriya, Inda, Brahma, Devavattika, Disa- 

The Patisambhidamagga is the thirteenth book. 
It consists of three vaggas or 
chapters, e.g., Mahavaggo, Yuganan- 
dhavaggo, and Pannavaggo. Each 
of the vaggas, again, contains ten topics (katha), e.g., 
Nanakatha, Yuganandhakatha, Mahapannakatha, 

It may be noted here that the first volume 
of the Patisambhidamagga deals only with the 
three out of the ten topics of the Mahavagga. This 
volume begins with the matika which gives the 
contents, not of the whole work (i.e., Patisambhi- 
damagga, Vol. I), but of the JJanakatha only, the 
opening chapter of the Vinaya Mahavagga. 

In the second volume of the Patisambhidamagga 
there is no matika (a table of contents) at all. 

I. Mahavagga (Patisambhiddmagga, II, pp. 1- 
91). It deals with fiana or knowledge of the imper- 
manence and sorrowfulness of the confections, of 
the four Aryan truths, of the chain of causation 
(dependent origination), of the four stages or 
bhumiyo-kamavacaro (realm of lust) rupavacaro 
(world of form) arupavacaro (incorporeal world) 
Apariyapanno (all that are not determined by this 
cycle), of the miracle of the double appearances 
consisting in the appearance of phenomena of 
opposite character in pairs, as for example, streaming 
forth of fire and water, of omniscience of the Buddha ; 
with ditthi or false views, e.g. holding the world 
to be eternal or non-eternal and finite or infinite, 
believer in fortuitous origin and in complete annihila- 
tion at death, etc. ; with five indriyas saddha 
(faith), viriya (energy), sati (recollection), samadhi 
(concentration), pafina (reason) ; with the three 
vimokkhas sufinato (devoid of soul, ego), animitto 
(the signless), appanihito (the desireless) ; with 

Canonical Pali Literature 283 

kamma (action or deed) and kammavipaka (the 
results of action), kusala kamma and akusala 
kamma (good and bad actions) and their results ; 
with vipallasa or perversion of sanna (perception) 
of citta (thought) of ditthi (views) perceiving 
wrongly anicca, dukkha, anattani, and asukha as 
nicca, sukha, atta, and subha respectively, with 
magga or the stage of righteousness, with reference 
to the various conditions of arahantship divided into 
four stages Sotapatti (the stage of entering the 
stream of salvation), Sakadagami (that of returning 
once), Anagami (that of the never-returner), and 
Arahatta (that of saintship). 

II. Yuganandhavagga (Patisambhiddmagga, II, 
pp. 92-184). It deals with sacca or the four Aryan 
truths, e.g. dukkha, dukkhasamudaya, dukkhani- 
rodha, and dukkhanirodhagaminipatipada (suffering, 
its origin, its cessation, and the path leading to its 
cessation) ; with bojjhangas or constituents of 
supreme knowledge, e.g. sati (mindfulness), dhamma- 
vicaya (investigation of the law), viriya (energy), 
piti (rapture), passaddhi (repose), samadhi (con- 
centration), upekkha (equanimity) ; with lokuttara 
dhamma, e.g., the four vsatipatthanas (referring to 
the body or kaya, the sensations or vedana, the mind 
or citta, and phenomena or dhamma) ; the four right 
exertions (exertions to put away the evil dhamma 
which has not arisen from arising, exertions to 
put away the evil dhamma which has arisen, exertions 
to help the growth of the good dhamma which has 
not arisen and exertions to keep up the good dhamma 
which has arisen) ; the four bases of iddhi or miracle 
(making determination in respect of concentration 
on purpose, on will, on thoughts, and on investiga- 
tion) ; the four indriyas or controlling faculties 
(saddha or faith, viriya or energy, sati or recollection, 
samadhi or concentration, panna or reason) ; the 
five powers (saddha, viriya, sati, samadhi, and 
panna they represent the intensification of the 
corresponding five indriyas) ; the seven constituents 
of supreme knowledge (satta bojjhanga), the noble 

284 A History of Pali Literature 

eightfold path (sammaditthi or right views, samma- 
samkappo or right resolve, sammavaca or right 
speech, sammakammato or right action, samma- 
ajlva or right living, sammavayamo or right exertion, 
sammasati or right recollection, samma samadhi 
or right concentration) ; four fruits of the life of 
the recluse and nibbana (final deliberation). This 
chapter also deals with the sixty-eight kinds of 
balas or potentialities. 

III. Panndvagga (Patisambhiddmagga, II, 
pp. 185-246). It deals with cariya or conduct. 
There are eight cariyas : iriyapatha (four postures 
walking, standing, sitting, lying down), ayatana 
[spheres of sense cakkhu (rupa), sota (sadda), 
ghana (gandha), jivha (rasa), kaya (photthabba), 
mano (dhamma)], sati (application of mindfulness 
referring to body, sensation, mind, phenomena), 
samadhi (four stages of jhanas pathamo, dutiya, 
tatiya, catuttha), $ana (the four Aryan truths), 
Magga (the four Aryan paths), Patticariya (the 
four fruits of the life of the recluse), and lokattha 
(for the promotion of the good of the world). It 
further deals with the application of mindfulness 
(referring to the body, the sensation, the mind, the 
phenomena) ; with the patihariya or miracle [usually 
in stock phrase iddhi or miracle], adesana (spiritual 
command), anusasani (inspiring instructions), as 
the marvellous modes of Buddha's taming other 

Mr. Arnold C. Taylor who has edited the Pati- 
sambhidamagga, Vols. I and II, for the Pali Text 
Society, London, observes in his preface to the 
Patisambhidamagga, Vol. II (p. vi), that " the 
traditional opening, ' Evam me sutam ', occurs 
fairly frequently, and explains the formal inclusion 
of the Patisambhidamagga in the Sutta Pitaka. 
In essence the book is wholly Abhidhammistic, 
if one may use the word, and must be placed 
among the very latest of the canonical books. Not 
only is the treatment of the various subjects essen- 
tially scholastic in character, but whole passages 

Canonical Pali Literature 285 

are taken verbatim from the Vinaya, and from the 
Digha, Anguttara, and Samyutta collections of the 
Sutta Pitaka, while a general acquaintance with the 
early Buddhist legends is assumed. In the Iddhi- 
katha in this volume, for instance, the names of 
saints who possessed various kinds of iddhi are given 
without comment, as if their stories were well 
known." The Patisambhidamagga belongs to the 
literature of the Abhidhamma type and it describes 
how analytical knowledge can be acquired by an 
arahat (saint). There are Sinhalese and Burmese 
manuscripts of this text and a Siamese edition of the 
same is available, which very closely resembles the 
Burmese tradition. Mabel Hunt's Index (J.R.A.S., 
1908) to the Patisambhidamagga deserves mention. 

The Buddhavariisa is the fourteenth book and 
1JL . it contains in verse the history of 

Buddhavatnsa. . , . . r -r> i n -i 

the twenty-four Buddhas supposed 
to have preceded the historical Gautama Buddha, 
the founder of Buddhism, during the last twelve 
world-cycles (Kalpas). They are Dipankara, 1 
Kondafina, Mangala, 2 Sumana, Revata, Sobhita, 
Anomadassi, Paduma, Narada, Padumuttara, 
Sumedha, Sujata, Piyadassi, Atthadassi, Dhamma- 
dassi, Siddhattha, Tissa, Phussa, Vipassi, Sikhi, 
Vessabhu, Kakusandha, Konagamana, and Kassapa. 
The last six Buddhas are mentioned in the Maha- 
padhana Sutta and the Atanatiya Sutta of the 
Digha Nikaya. Gotama was the twenty-fifth 
Buddha. A brief summary of the account of these 
Buddhas is given a few pages below. Metteyya 
will be the successor of Gautama and a legendary 
account of this future Buddha forms the subject- 
matter of a later poetical work called the Anagata- 
vamsa. The Rev. Richard Morris, who has edited 
the text in Roman character for the P.T.S., remarks 
in his edition, " The Buddha vamsa may be a mere 

1 and 2 The Northern Buddhists have also Buddha histories. 
The Mahavastu lias a long list of Buddhas arid it also gives accounts 
of them (vide my book " A Study of the Mahavastu ", pt. I, chap. I). 

286 A History of Pali Literature 

poetical expansion of some short prose history of 
the Buddhas who appeared before Gotama's time ". 
In the Buddhavamsa there is a chapter on the 
distribution of the Buddha's relics. 

The Buddhavamsa was propounded by the 
supreme Buddha, the omniscient Tathagata while 
he was perambulating in the Ratanacahkama at the 
great Nigrodha vihara at Kapilavatthu. His object 
in so doing was to rescue twenty-two thousand 
kinsmen of his and innumerable kotis of men and 
gods from the four torrents of the passion or oghas. 
The occasion for its enunciation was an interesting 
one. The supreme Buddha during the first twenty 
years of his Buddhahood led the life of a pilgrim 
sojourning at such places as he found most con- 
venient to dwell. The twentieth year was passed 
at Rajagriha, and from that period, he exclusively 
dwelt either at the Jetavana-mah a vihara or at 
Pubbarama, deriving his subsistence by alms. At 
that time, once, when the hemaiita season had been 
over and vasanta arrived, Sattha (the divine teacher 
Sakya), who had by this time come to Rajagriha, 
thought that it was the time when the Tathagata 
had promised to repair to Kapilavatthu. On an 
appeal being made, he set out from Rajagriha to 
Kapilavatthu attended by twenty thousand Arhats. 
On reaching there, he performed two miracles of 
two opposite results ; and it was upon this occasion 
that he propounded the Buddhavamsa. It had been 
perpetuated till the third convocation by the un- 
broken succession of the theras, and subsequently 
by their disciples up to the present day. 

The Buddhavamsa has been intelligently divided 
into three portions or niddnas. The life-history 
of the Buddha " extending from the age in which 
the sacred assurance was vouchsafed to the Great 
Being at the foot of Dlpankara Buddha, until by 
his death in the character of Vessantara he was 
reborn in the Tusita-devaloka, is called the dure 
niddna or the history of remote antiquity. The 
history extending from the translation by death 

Canonical Pali Literature 287 

from Tusita to the attainment of omniscience at the 
foot of the Bodhi is called Avi-dure-niddna." 
And lastly the history from the attainment of 
Buddhahood under the Bodhi tree to the Pari- 
nirvana and whatever else that intervened between 

these two is included under the Santike Nidana, 
i.e., contemporaneous history. 

We shall now give a brief account of each of 
the twenty-five Buddhas already mentioned. 

The first Buddha (Buddhavamsa, P.T.S., pp. 6- 
18) was Dipankara. In the time of the Buddha 
Dipankara, Sumedha, who was destined to be a 
Buddha, was born in a rich brahmin family at the 
city of Amaravati. But seeing that * birth is 
sorrow ' he distributed his wealth and retired to the 
Himavanta. Once the people of the Paccanta- 
desavisaya invited the Tathagata to visit their 
country. They set on clearing the road. Sumedha 
also began to clear a part of the road. But before 
he finished his task, Dipankara with a good number 
of bhikkhus came to the place. Sumedha desired 
that the Buddha should not go through the mud. 
The Lord with his followers crossed the muddy 
place walking on the body of Sumedha. Dipankara 
impressed with this act of merit foretold that 
Sumedha would be a ' Buddha ' in future. 

Dipankara was born in a Khattiya family of the 
city of Bammavati. Sumedha and Sumedha were 
his parents. Paduma was his wife and Usabha- 
kkhanda his son. He left the world. He attained 
perfect enlightenment and preached the Norm for 
the good of all at the request of Brahma. 

The second Buddha (Buddhavamsa 9 pp. 19-21) was 
Kondafifia. He was born in the city of Bammavati. 
His father was Sunanda, a Khattiya, and mother 
Sujata. His wife was Bucidevi and got a son 
who went by the name of Vijitasena. 

The third Buddha (Ibid., pp. 21-23) wasMangala 
who was born in the city of Uttara. His father was 
Uttara and mother Uttara. Yasavat! was his wife 
and Sivala his son. 

288 A History of Pali Literature 

The fourth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 23-25) was Sumana. 
He was born in the city of Mekhala. His father 
was Sudatta and mother Sirima. His wife was 
Vatamsika and son Anupama. 

The fifth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 25-26) was Revata. 
He was born in the city of Sudhanfiaka. His father 
was Vipula and mother Vipula. His wife was 
Sudassana and his son Varuna. 

The sixth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 27-28) was Sobhita. 
He was born in the city of Sudhamma. His father 
was Sudhamma and mother Sudhamma. He enjoyed 
the worldly life for nine thousand years. His wife 
was Sumangi and Slha was his son. 

The seventh Buddha (Ibid., pp. 29-30) was 
Anomadassi. He was born in the city of Candavati. 
His father was Yasava and mother Yasodhara. 
His wife was Sirima and Upavana was his son. 

The eighth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 31-32) was Paduma. 
He was born in the city of Campaka. His father 
was Asama and mother Asama. Uttara was his 
wife and Ramma his son. 

The ninth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 33-34) was Narada. 
He was born in the city of Dhanfiavati. Sudeva 
was his father and Anoma was his mother. Jitasena 
was his wife and Nanduttaro his son. 

The tenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 35-36) was Padu- 
muttara. He was born in the city of Hamsavati. 
Ananda was his father and Sujata his mother. His 
wife was Vasudatta and his son was Uttara. 

The eleventh Buddha (Ibid., pp. 37-38) was 
Sumedha. He was born in the city of Sudassana. 
His father was Sudatta and mother Sudatta. 
Sumana was his wife and Sumitta his son. 

The twelfth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 39-41) was 
Sujata who was born in the city of Sumangala. 
His father was Uggata and mother Pabhavatl. 
Sirinanda was his wife and Upasena his son. 

The thirteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 41-42) was 
Piyadassi. He was born in the city of Sudhanna. 
His father was Sudatta and mother Sucanda. His 
wife was Vimala and Kancanavela his son. 

Canonical Pali Literature 289 

The fourteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 43-44) was 
Atthadassi. He was born in the city of Sobhana. 
Sagara was his father and Sudassana his mother. 
His wife was Visakha and Sena was his son. 

The fifteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 45-46) was 
Dhammadassl. He was born in the city of Sarana. 
His father was Sarana and mother Sunanda. Vicitoli 
was his wife and Punnavaddhana his son. 

The sixteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 47-48) was 
Siddhattha. He was born in the city of Vebhara. 
His father was Udena and Suphassa was his mother. 
Sumana was his wife and Anupama his son. 

The seventeenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 48-50) was 
Tissa. He was born in the city of Khemaka. 
Janasandha was his father and Paduma his mother. 
Subhadda was his wife and Ananda his son. 

The eighteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 50-51) was 
Phussa. He was born in the city of Kasika. His 
father was Jayasena and Sirima was his mother. 
His wife was Kisagotami and his son was Ananda. 

The nineteenth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 52-54) was 
Vipassi. He was born in the city of Bandhumati. 
His father was Bandhuma and Bandhumati was his 
mother. His wife was Sutana and his son was 

The twentieth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 54-55) was 
Sikhi. He was born in the city of Arunavati. 
Aruna was his father and Pabhavati was his mother. 

Sabbakama was his wife and Atula his son. 

The twenty-first Buddha (Ibid., pp. 56-57) was 
Vessabhu. He was born in the city of Anoma. 
Supatita was his father and Yasavati his mother. 
Sucitta was his wife and Suppabuddha his son. 

The twenty-second Buddha (Ibid., pp. 58-59) was 
Kakusandha. He was born in the city of Khema- 
vati. The brahmin Aggidatta was his father and 
Visakha his mother. His wife was Virocamana and 
his son was Uttara. 

The twenty-third Buddha (Ibid., pp. 60-61) was 
Konagamana. He was born in the city of Sobhavati. 
The brahmin Yannadatta was his father and Uttara 


290 A History of Pali Literature 

his mother. Rucigatta was his wife and Satthavaha 
his son. 

The twenty-fourth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 62-64) was 
Kassapa. He was born in the city of Benares. The 
brahmin Brahmadatta was his father and Dhanavati 
his mother. His wife was Sunanda and Vijitasena 
was his son. 

The twenty-fifth Buddha (Ibid., pp. 65-66) was 
Ootama Buddha. He was born in the city of 
Kapilavatthu. His father was the king Suddhodana 
and his mother was Maya. Bhaddakacca was his 
wife and Rahula was his son. 

The Cariyapitaka is the fifteenth book. It is a 
^ . _ . , post-Asokan work. It means a 

Canvapitaka. A -. nj_ < ., -11 

* canonical collection of stones illus- 

trating the modes in which the Bodhisattva practised 
the cariya or conduct. It contains in verse a series 
of narratives relating to the thirty-four of the 
supposed previous births of the historical Buddha 
himself. The lofty means or ten perfections (dasa 
paramiyas) whereby Gautama attained Buddhahood 
are mentioned in it. The stories told in the verses 
of the Cariyapitaka are parallel to the Jataka stories 
in prose. The Rev. Richard Morris who has edited 
the text for the P.T.S. says " These birth -stories 
presuppose a familiar acquaintance with all the 
incidents of the corresponding prose tales ". The 
verses are written in anutthuva chanda. The 

language is simple and the style is similar to that 
of the Dhammapada. 1 This work was repeated by 
Ananda and rehearsed by 500 arahats who were 
members of the First Council. Dr. Morris who has 
edited this work for the P.T.S. has traced all the 
stories found in this work to their sources excepting 
three, namely, Mahagovinda, Dhammadhamma, and 
Candakumara, the sources of which have been 
traced by me (see my Edition of the Cariyapitaka). 

1 For a detailed comparison of these verses with the Jataka 
tales, see Introduction to my Devanagri edition of the Cariya- 
pitaka, published by Messrs. Matilal Benarsi Dass, Saidmitha Street, 

Canonical Pali Literature 291 

The work shows how the Bodhisattva had 
attained the ten paramitas or perfections in his 
previous births. The first two paramitas, generosity 
and goodness, are illustrated by ten stories each, 
while fifteen stories refer to the other eight perfec- 
tions, viz., renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, 
truthfulness, resolution, kindness to all beings, and 
equanimity. The stories are put into the mouth of 
Gautama himself. The stories of Akatti, Sankha, 
Dhananjaya, Sudassana, Govinda, Nimi, Canda- 
kumara, Sivi, Vessantara, Sasapandita, Silava-naga, 
Bhuridatta, Campeyya, Culabodhi, Mahimsa-raja, 
Ruru-miga, Matahga, Dhammadhammadevaputta, 
Jayaddisa, Sankhapala, Yudhafijaya, Somaiiassa, 
Ayoghara, Bhisa, Sonapandita, Temiya, Vanarinda, 
Saccasahvaya, Vattapotaka, Maccharaja, Kanha- 
dipayana, Sutasoma, Suvannasama, Ekaraja, and 
Mahalomahamsa form the subject-matter of the 
Cariyapitaka, a summary of which is given below. 
Akatti was meditating in a forest. As he was 
making a strong effort to acquire 
^ atti ^ I^f riya " merits, Inda came to test him in 

pitftka, F.T.S., p. , 7 . 11- AI j.^.' 

73). the guise of a brahmin. Akatti 

thrice gave in charity the leaves 
which had been heaped up in front of his leaf-hut, 
to the brahmin for the attainment of bodhi (enlighten- 
ment) (cf. Akitti Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 236-242). 
Hankha went to the sea-shore and on the way 
he saw a sayambhu (Buddha) tread- 
ing the path which was very hot 
and the sands on the path were also 
heated by the rays of the sun. Sankha saluted him 
and gave him in charity a pair of wooden slippers 
and an umbrella for the attainment of bodhi 
(cf. Sankhapala Jataka, Jataka, V, pp. 161-177). 
Dhananjaya was the king of Indapatta. Some 
brahmins came to him from Kalinga, 

at that time reatl y troubled by 
drought and famine, for a royal 
elephant, the presence of which in a country brings 
copious rain. Dhananjaya gave in charity the 

292 A History of Pali Literature 

elephant to them for the attainment of bodhi 
(cf. Kurudhamma Jataka, II, pp. 365-381). 

Sudassana was the king of Kusavati. He thrice 
declared that he would satisfy the 

SudaS p8 ana(/6*, desire of every b o dy, when CO1B- 

municated to him. Hungry and 
thirsty people as well as those in need of garlands, 
unguents, clothes, wooden slippers, etc., came to 
him and he fulfilled their desires. In many parts of 
his kingdom, arrangements were made to offer 
charities. The charities made by him with a view 
to the attainment of bodhi, were unparalleled 
(cf. Mahasudassana Jataka, Jataka, I, pp. 391-393). 
Govinda was a chaplain of seven kings. His 

income from the seven kingdoms 

GovindMI6id., wag g vm in charity b y him for 

the attainment of bodhi (cf. Maha- 
govinda Suttanta, Digha, II). 

Nimi was the king of Mithila. He built four 

M- -(Th-j * it-\ danasalas (alms houses) in which 

Nimi (Ibid,, p. 7b). -. ... x , ; . , . 

chanties, on a large scale in dnnk, 
food, seats, garments, etc., were made to beasts, 
birds, human beings, all for the attainment of bodhi 
(cf. Nimi Jataka, Jataka, VI, pp. 95-129). 

Canda-Kumara was the son of Ekaraja of 
Pupphavati. He offered charities 
whole-heartedly and he never ate 
anything without first giving it to 
a beggar (cf. Khandahala Jataka, Jataka, VI, 
pp. 129-157). 

Sivi was a king of Arittha. He thought that 

he would offer such charities as no 
Sivi <IM*. pp. 77- man had evcr of f ered He wag ready 

to offer his eyes in charity if anybody 
would ask for them. In order to test him, Inda in 
the guise of an old blind brahmin, came to him and 
asked for one of his eyes which he gave with great 
pleasure. When asked for another of his eyes 
he gladly offered to him. Simply for the attainment 
of bodhi, he offered his two eyes in charity (cf. 
Sivi Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 401-412). 

Canonical Pali Literature 293 

Vessantara was the son of Sanjaya and Phusati, 
king and queen of Jetuttara. When 

he was ei g ht Y ears old, he thought 
that he would offer his eyes, ears, 
heart, flesh, blood, etc., to anybody, if he so desired. 
Once on a full-moon sabbath day he went to the 
alms house, riding an elephant named Paccaya to 
offer charity. This elephant was the royal elephant, 
the presence of which would turn bad days into 
good days, drought into rain, famine into good 
harvest. At this time there was an outbreak of 
famine at Kalinga and the king of Kalinga sent 
some brahmins to him to request him to give the 
elephant. Vessantara at once gave him the elephant. 
On account of this act of giving the elephant to 
them, the inhabitants of the kingdom of Sivi became 
very angry and banished him from the kingdom to 
the Vahkapabbata. Vessantara asked the people 
of the kingdom of Sivi to allow him to offer a 
charity before he left Jetuttara. Being allowed he 
caused drums to be beaten in every part of his 
kingdom to announce that he would offer a large 
charity. There was a talk among the people that 
king Vessantara was being driven out of Ms kingdom 
for his charity but that it was a wonder that he 
was again preparing for a large charity. He left 
the city after offering in charity elephants, horses, 
chariots, slaves, slave-girls, cows, and everything he 
possessed. He went to Vankapabbata with his 
queen Maddi, son and daughter, Jail and Kanha. 
One day he offered his son and daughter to a cruel 
brahmin named Yojaka in the absence of Maddi. 
In order to protect Maddi, a faithful woman, Inda 
came to him in the guise of a brahmin and asked 
for Maddi. Vessantara gave Maddi, his queen, to 
the brahmin. For the attainment of bodhi, Vessan- 
tara gave in charity his wife, son, and daughter. 
Vessantara' s father came to the Vankapabbata 
and took him to his kingdom. On his arrival, the 
kingdom became prosperous (cf. Vessantara Jataka, 
Jataka, VI, pp. 479-593). 

294 A History of Pali Literature 

Once the Bodhisatta Siddhartha was born as 
a hare. He used to live in a forest 

Sasapan4ita^/6trf., ^^ three frien( Js. HlS duty Was 

to instruct his friends to offer charity, 
to observe precepts, and to do other meritorious deeds. 
On a sabbath day his friends collected something to 
offer but he had nothing to give in charity. To 
test him Inda in the guise of a brahmin first came 
to him and asked for something to eat. He told 
the brahmin that he would offer something not 
offered by anybody else before and he requested 
the brahmin to kindle a fire. The hare shook his 
body in order to let go other creatures existing on 
his body and then he jumped into the fire in order 
to have his body cooked so that the brahmin might 
take the cooked flesh. By the force of his virtue, 
the fire became cold as ice (cf. Sasa Jataka, Jataka, 
III, pp. 51-56). 

Silava-naga was devoted to his mother and he 

used to live in a forest looking after 
siiava-nsga (ibid., j^ old mot h e r. A king was inform- 

ed by the frequenters of the forest 
that an elephant was available in the forest which 
was worthy of being king's mangalahatthl. The king 
sent a skilful elephant-driver who saw the elephant 
in the forest picking up lotus-reed for his mother. 
When the elephant was caught, it did not show 
any sign of anger nor any grief for its mother. For 
the fulfilment of silaparami, the elephant behaved 
very gently when caught (cf. Silava-naga Jataka, 
Jataka, I, pp. 319-322). 

Once Bodhisatta was born as a snake-king named 

Bhuridatta who was taken to the 

Bhuridatta (ibid., devaloka by king Virupakkha. See- 

P ' ' ing the beauty and wealth of the de va- 

loka, Bhuridatta made up his mind to acquire virtues 
which would enable him to attain heaven. He spent 
his days taking little food and observing precepts. 
He lay down on an ant-hill observing precepts. A 
certain person took him to various places, made 
him dance and gave him lots of trouble which he 

Canonical Pali Literature 295 

patiently bore for the observance of precepts (cf. 
Bhuridatta Jataka, Jataka, VI, pp. 157-219). 

Bodhisatta was born as a snake-king named 
Campeyya. On an uposatha day 
when he was observing the precepts 
a snake-charmer caught him and 
took him to the palace where he was made to dance. 
He was endowed with such a miraculous power 
that he could perform many miracles, but for the 
fulfilment of silaparami he patiently did what he 
was forced to do (cf. Campeyya Jataka, Jataka, IV, 
pp. 454-468). 

Once the Bodhisatta was born as Culabodhi. 
Finding fear in the world and delight 
in renunciation, he left his beautiful 
wife and led the life of a hermit. 
At Benares he was living in the king's garden not 
being attached to anything. His wife followed him 
into the garden and engaged herself in meditation 
there, a little away from him. The king asked him 
about his beautiful wife, but he was informed by 
Culabodhi that she was not his wife but she was 
following the same dhamma and same sasana. The 
king forcibly took away the woman but Culabodhi 
patiently calmed his anger for the attainment of 
silaparami (cf. Cullabodhi Jataka, Jataka, IV, 
pp. 22-27). 

Bodhisatta was born as a king of the buffaloes 
living in a forest. He was horrible to 

look at ' stout and stron s and bulk y- 

He used to lie down everywhere 
according to his will. In a nice place in the forest, he 
used to live. A monkey came there and troubled him 
much. A yakkha advised him to kill the monkey 
but he did not pay attention to his word, because 
the observance of the precepts might be disturbed 
(cf. Mahisa Jataka, Jataka, II, pp. 385-387). 

In a beautiful place near the banks of the 
Ganges there was a deer named 
Ruru - Farther up a person being 
oppressed by his master jumped 

296 A History of Pali Literature 

from the spot, not caring for his life. The person 
being carried by the current came to the deer who 
took him to his abode. The deer asked him not to 
disclose the spot where he was living. He promised 
not to do so, but he left the place and soon came back 
with the king for profit. The deer said everything 
to the king who was going to kill the person for his 
treacherous conduct. The deer came to the rescue 
of the person with the result that the deer was 
killed with the arrow thrown by the king (cf. Ruru 
Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 255-263). 

A Jatila named Matanga was a very pious 

hermit. He used to live on the 

banks of the Ganges with a brahmin. 

The brahmin out of jealousy cursed 
the Jatila that his head would be broken. The 
hermit was very pious and faultless. The curse was 
therefore effective in the case of the brahmin and 
the hermit sacrificed his own life and saved the 
brahmin (cf. Matahga Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 375- 

A yakkha named Dhamma was endowed with 

miraculous powers and compas- 

Dhammadhamma gionatC to all. He Was always 

devaputta (Ibid.. -, . f . . . . ^ 

p . 89). engaged in performing ten virtuous 

deeds and instructing others to do 
so. He used to travel from place to place with his 
retinue. Another yakkha named Adhamma used 
to travel from place to place instructing people to 
commit ten kinds of sins. One day both of them 
met each other on the way and quarrelled. Dhamma 
for the fulfilment of silaparaml did not quarrel with 
him and allowed him to pass (cf. Dhamma Jataka, 
Jataka, IV, pp. 100-104). 

In the kingdom of Pancala, in the city of 
Kappila there was a king named 

Jayad p di 90) (/6id " Jayaddisa. His son was Suta- 

dhamma who was pious and virtuous 
and he was always protecting his own retinue. 
Bong Jayaddisa went out to hunt and was caught 
by a demon who was asked by the king to save his 

Canonical Pali Literature 297 

life for the time being by taking the deer. The 
king said he would again come to him after making 
necessary arrangements in his kingdom. Suta- 
dhamma went to the demon not being armed. 
Sutadhamma asked the demon to kindle a fire into 
which he would jump to have his body cooked for 
his food. For the fulfilment of slla he gave up his 
life (cf. Jayaddisa Jataka, Jataka, V, pp. 21-36). 
Sankhapala was a snake-king, endowed with 
miraculous powers and very poison- 

Sankhapala (Ibid., oug jj e gftt ftt the j unction Q f the 

four streets to offer himself in charity 
to any beggar. The sons of the Bhojas who were 
very rough, harsh, and cruel, drew him with a 
rope pushed through his nose. For the observance 
of precepts he did not cherish anger (cf. Sankhapala 
Jataka, Jataka, V, pp. 161-177). 

When the Bodhisatta-Siddhartha was a prince 
named Yudhanjaya in the kingdom 
of Kuru he J>ecame disgusted with 
the worldly life on seeing dew drops 
becoming dried up by the rays of the sun. He left 
the world after saluting his parents. For the 
attainment of bodhi he did not care for the kingdom 
nor listen to the prayers of the king and his subjects 
(cf. Yuvanjaya Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 119-123). 
In the city of Indapatta, the Bodhisatta was 
born as a prince named Somanassa. 
The kin g of Indapatta had a hermit 
named Kuhakatapasa. The king 
used to love and respect Kuhaka and built a beautiful 
garden for him. Somanassa said to Kuhaka thus, 
" You are worthless, you have not the qualities of 
an honest man in you and you have fallen off from 
the state of a samana. You have abandoned all 

good qualities, such as shame, etc." Kuhaka be- 
came angry with him and induced the king to drive 
him from the kingdom. Some cruel persons caught 
him and took him away from his mother. They 
presented him before the king. He then succeeded 
in appeasing the wrath of the king who offered him 

298 A History of Pali Literature 

the kingdom. He left the world for the attainment 
of bodhi (cf. Somanassa Jataka, Jataka, IV, 
pp. 444-454). 

The Bodhisatta was born as the son of Kasiraja. 
He was brought up in an iron 

house and hence he was called 
Ayoghara. He had to earn his bread 

with great difficulty. He was offered the kingdom, 
but he did not accept it and renounced the world 
for the attainment of bodhi (cf. Ayoghara Jataka, 
Jataka, IV, pp. 491-499). 

Bodhisatta was born in a Ksatriya family 
consisting of seven brothers and 
PP ' sisters. Parents, brothers, sisters, 
and companions asked him to marry 
and lead a household life, but he renounced the 
world for the attainment of bodhi (cf. Bliisa Jataka, 
Jataka, IV, pp. 304-314). 

In the city of Brahmavaddhana, Bodhisatta 
was born in a very rich family. 
(IMd " Parents and relatives asked him to 
enjoy worldly pleasures, but he did 
not hear them and renounced the worldlv life for 


bodhi (cf. Sona-Nanda Jataka, Jataka, V, pp. 312- 

The Bodhisatta, in order to attain bodhi 

(enlightenment) had to fulfil the 

T pfr 96- 9 7 7)*. d " ten paramitas or perfections for 

which he had to undergo several 
births to fulfil each paramita. He fulfilled the 
adhitthana paramita by steadfastly adhering to his 
endeavour to become a Buddha like a mountain 
unmoved by storm coming from all directions. He 
was born as the son of the king of Kasi. He was 
brought up in a way that befits a prince. But he 
was not destined to indulge in the vile pleasures 
of a worldly life, which lead one to niraya or hell. 
In order to carry out what he desired he became 
deaf, dumb, and motionless through the help of the 
guardian deity. Thus he was not fit to do any sort 
of work. The commander, the chaplain, and the 

Canonical Pali Literature 299 

countryfolk unanimously agreed to leave him. The 
charioteer took him out of the city and dug a pit 
in order to bury him alive. But the Bodhisatta 
did not give up his steadfast resolve [cf. Temiya 
Jataka (Mugapakkha Jataka), Vol. VI, pp. 1-30], 

Bodhisatta was born as a monkey-king living 
in a cave on the banks of a river 
where a crocodile, who was waiting 
to catch hold of him, invited him to 
come to him. Vanarinda said, " You open your 
mouth, I am coming ". Then the monkey-king 
jumped over his head and fell on the other side of 
the river. This he did for the sake of truth (cf. 
Kapi Jataka, Jataka, II, pp. 268-270). 

When the Bodhisatta was born as a hermit 
named Saccasahvaya, he asked the 

P e P le to s P ea k the truth - He 

effected the unity of the people 
by means of truth (cf. Saccamkira Jataka, I, pp. 322- 

Bodhisatta was born as a young quail, his 
parents left him in the nest and went 

awav for food - At this time there 
was a forest fire. He could not flv 


as his wings were undeveloped. He asked the 
fire to extinguish itself as his parents were not in the 
nest and he also was unable to move. He acquired 
much merit in the previous births and hence the 
fire became extinguished due to the influence of this 
truth (cf. Vattaka Jataka, I, pp. 212-215). 

Bodhisatta was born as a fish-king in a big 

pond. Crows, vultures, cranes, and 

Macch p. r 99 5 ). (/6irf " other bipeds were always troubling 

his relatives. So he thought of 
saving his relatives, but finding no means, he made 
up his mind to save them by truth. He said that 
as far as he could remember, he never willingly 
killed any being. By this truth he prayed for rain. 
Soon there was a heavy rain and lands, high and low, 
were over-flooded, fishes went away hither and 

300 A History of Pali Literature 

thither and the nests of birds were destroyed (cf. 
Macoha Jataka, Jataka, I, pp. 210-212). 

Bodhisatta was born as a sage named Kanhadi- 

Kanh dr s payana. He used to live unknown 

(/&td?, p P ! P 9 J-loo). an ^ f ree from attachment. A fellow 

brahmacari named Mandavya came 
to his hermitage with his wife and son. The son 
irritated a snake which bit him. His parents 
became overwhelmed with grief. Kanhadipayana 
did not do any harm to the angry snake. He 
saved the son and his parents were relieved (cf. 
Kanhadipayana Jataka, Jataka, IV, pp. 27-37). 

Bodhisatta was born as a king named Sutasoma 
who was attacked by a demon. 
The demon told the king that if 
he could free him, then one hundred 
Ksatriyas who were seized and brought for the 
sacrifice would be sent to him. The king then 
abandoned his wealth and returned to the demon. 
For the sake of truth the king spared his life (cf. 
Mahasutasoma Jataka, Jataka, V, pp. 456-511). 

When the Bodhisatta was living in a forest as 
one named Sama and used to practise 
meditation on metta, Inda sent to 
him a lion and a tiger to test him. 
He was not frightened by the ferocious animals which 
surrounded him while he was practising meditation 
on metta (friendliness) nor did he betray any fear 
before others (cf . Sama Jataka, Jataka, VI, pp. 68-95). 
Bodhisatta was born as a famous king named 
Ekaraja. He used to observe pre- 
P^. r ioi-io2).' cepts and instructed his subjects to 

do so. He used to perform ten 
good deeds and caused his subjects to do so. He 
supported a great multitude by offering four re- 
quisites. A king named Dabbasena attacked his 
capital and looted his kingdom. Ekaraja always 
desired metta of the enemy, although the enemy in 
his presence cut off his ministers, subjects, and 
seized his wife and son (cf. Ekaraja Jataka, Jataka, 
III, pp. 13-15). 

Canonical Pali Literature 301 

Bodhisatta was born as Mahalomahamsa. In the 
cemetery, he used to lie down on a 

bed made of the bone s of the dead ; 
villagers showed him various beauti- 
ful sights ; some came to him with various kinds of 
food and garlands. He was indifferent to those who 
troubled him and to those who pleased him. He 
retained the balance of mind in prosperity or in 
adversity (cf . Lomahamsa Jataka, Jataka, I, pp. 389- 

Dr. B. M. Barua's edition of the Cariyapitaka 
is in the Press. He has made an attempt to re- 
construct this text with the help of some quotations 
in the Atthasalim, the Jataka commentary, and the 
commentary on the Cariyapitaka by Dhammapala. 
His edition shows that there were other stories to 
illustrate the three paramitas, e.g., viriya, panria, 
and adhitthana. 

The Apadana is the sixteenth and last book. 
It is an anthology of legends in 

pa ana. verse, which describes great deeds of 

Buddhist Arahats. It contains biographies of 550 
male members and 40 female members of the 
Buddhist Order in the time of the Buddha. This 
book has been published in Roman character in 
two volumes by M. E. Lilley for the P.T.S. In the 
P.T.S. edition we find that there are Buddhapadana 
and Paccekabuddhapadana. Then we have the 
Therapadana which contains biographies of 547 
theras, e.g., Sariputta, Maha-Moggallana, Maha- 
kassapa, Anuruddha, Punna-Mantaniputta, Upali, 
Annakondaniia, Pindola-Bharadvaja, Khadiravaniya 
Revata, Ananda, Nanda, Pilindavaccha, Rahula, 
Ratthapala, 1 Sumahgala, Subhuti, Uttiya, Maha- 

1 Road " The Legend of ilatthapala in the Pali Apadana and 
Buddhaghoaa's commentary " by Mabel Bode. Buddhaghosa in 
his Papaficasudam and Dhammapala in his tika enlarged the 
legend of Ra^hapala in their most instructive vein. The Apadana 
commentary while glossing carefully the phrases of eulogy of the 
Buddha, does not after all dwell much on Ratthapala's earlier 
existences as deva and king. Those features of the legend come 
out with more distinctness and colour in the Manorathapurani 

302 A History of Pali Literature 

Kaccana, Kaludayi, Cunda, Sela, Bakkula, and 
others. The Then- Apadana contains biographies of 
40 theris, e.g., Gotami, Khema, Pataeara, Bhadda- 
Kundalakesa, Dhammadinna, Yasodhara, Bhadda- 
Kapiiam, Abhirupananda, Ambapall, Sela, and others. 

The word Apadana means ' pure action ', or 
4 heroic deed ', and each of the Apadanas gives us 
first the life of its hero or heroine in one or more 
previous births. An " Apadana " has both a story 
of the past and a story of the present, but it differs 
from a Jataka in that the latter refers always to the 
past life of a Buddha, whereas an Apadana deals 
usually, not always, with that of an arahat. 

The Apadana stories lay much stress on formal 
aspects of religion, e.g., puja, vandaria, dana, etc. 
They exemplify by the lives of theras and theris 
how the heavenly rewards so obtained continue 
until arahatship is attained. They show the im- 
portance of worship of shrines, relics, and topes, and 

where Buddhaghosa takes as his starting point the more mention 
of his hero's name in a list of theras. But still the Apadana-aMhaka- 
tha, possibly written last of the three, adds something even to the 
elaborate detail of the Papaficasudanl arid the charming fable of the 
Manorathapurani. The legend that can be touched and retouched 
and (adorned) ; the portrait that can be painted in different attitudes 
are dear to artificers like Buddhaghosa. Under his hand the 
personages who begin as traditional types often end as human beings, 
with a physiognomy that we remember. But naturally it is rather 
as the collector of legends than as the romancer that the old com- 
mentator can claim our gratitude. In his numerous commentaries 
(where no opportunity to tell a story is lost) there is material for 
comparison with the Sanskrit and Chinese. The entirely Buddhistic 
and pious anupubbakatha of Ratthapala gives, it is true, little 
opportunity for such a comparison as is admirably worked out in 
M. Felix Lacote's study of that (con to profane), the legend of the 
king Udayaria (or Udena), one of Buddhaghosa' s personages, who 
also appears in the vivid narrative of Gunaclhya. But the most 
conventional figures have their interest as landmarks, when we are 
seeking the ancient and common source whence Buddhaghosa and 
writers of other schools, of widely differing doctrine, drew their 
edifying legends. Only as an earnest of further research in this 
direction these few notes are offered to the master who has inspired 
and guided us to do our part in exploring a province of Buddhist 
literature where the borders between (North) arid (South) some- 
times disappear (Mabel Bode The Legend of Ratthapala in the 
Pali Apadana and Buddhaghosa's Commentary). 

Canonical Pali Literature 303 

they also emphasise the charitable and humanitarian 
aspects of the faith. 

Many extracts from the 40 biographies of 
bhikkhums are given in Eduard Muller's edition of 
the commentary on the Therigatha (P.T.S., 1893). 
One of the Apadanas l seems to allude to the Katha- 
vatthu, as an Abhidhamma compilation (Apadana, 
P.T.S., Pt. I, p. 37). " If this be so," Professor Rhys 
Davids 2 argues, " the Apadana must be one of the 
very latest books in the canon. Other considerations 
point to a similar conclusion. Thus the number of 
Buddhas previous to the historical Buddha is given in 
the Digha Nikaya as six ; in later books, such as the 
Buddhavamsa, it has increased to twenty-four. But 
the Apadana (see Eduard Muller's article, ' Les 
Apadanas du sud ' in the Proceedings of the Oriental 
Congress at Geneva, 1894, p. 167) mentions eleven 
more, bringing the number up to thirty-five. It is 
very probable that the different legends contained 
in this collection are of different dates ; but the 
above facts tend to show that they were brought 
together as we now have them after the date of the 
composition of most of the other books in the 



The third main division of the Tripitaka or 
Tipitaka is the Abhidhamma Pitaka 8 or ' Basket of 
higher expositions ' ; or as Ohilders puts it ' Basket 
of Transcendental Doctrine '. It treats of the same 
subject as the Sutta Pitaka and differs from that 

1 " Abhidhammanayannoham Kathavatthu visuddhiya sabbesam 
viiinapetvana viharaihi anasavo." 

2 Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, Vol. I, p. 603. 

3 There is a book called Abhidhamma matika which is a 
summary of the whole of Abhidhamma or the metaphysics of 
Buddhism (cf. Abhidhammamulatika which is a commentary on 
the Abhidhamma Pitaka written by Ananda Mahathera of Anura- 
dhapura. This is the oldest tfk& on the Abhidhamma Pitaka). 
Read a valuable paper by C. A. F. Rhys Davids on the Abhidhamma 
Pi$aka and Commentaries, J.R.A.S., 1923. 

304 A History of Pali Literature 

collection only in being more scholastic. It is 
composed chiefly in the form of questions and 
answers like a catechism. The starting point of 
this collection appears to have been the Sutta Pitaka. 
The Abhidhamma treatises follow a progressive 
scheme of treatment, the matikas or uddesas are 
followed by the niddesas. The ideas are classified 
in outline. They are overloaded with synonyms. 
In some places, it is difficult to find out the real 
meaning. Originality appears to be wanting every- 
where. The Abhidhamma is a supplement to 
Dhamma or sutta and not a systematic presentation 
of philosophy. The Abhidhamma Pitaka comprises 
seven works : 

1. Dhammasangani, 2. Vibhanga, 3. Katha- 
vatthu, 4. Puggalapannatti, 5. Dhatukatha, 6. 
Yamaka, and 7. Patthana. 

These seven books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka 
are commonly known as Sattapakarana or seven 
treatises. We hold with Mrs. Rhys Davids that the 
very form of a group of works like the Abhi- 
dhamma shows that centres of education and 
training had been established, drawing to themselves 
some at least of the culture of the day. Such logical 
development and acumen as were possessed by the 
sophists and causists, mentioned in the Brahma jala 
Sutta and the Udana, would now find scope in the 
growing Theravada teaching and literature. 

Dhammasangani. The Dhammasangani is one of 
the most important books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. 
It is known as Sangiti-pariyaya-pada to the Sarvasti- 
vada school. The text has been edited by Eduard 
Miiller, Ph.D., for the Pali Text Society, London, 
from a Burmese manuscript in the India Office and 
a Sinhalese manuscript from the Vanavasa vihara 
in Bentota in Ceylon. It means something like 
" enumeration of conditions " or more literally " co- 
enumeration of dhamma ". It may mean " enumera- 
tion of phenomena ". It really means exposition 
of dhamma. " Kamavacara rupavacaradidhamme 
sangayha sankhipitva va ganayati sankhyati etthati 

Canonical Pali Literature 305 

dhammasangani." The Dhammasangani is so 
called because therein the author after compilation 
and condensation enumerates and sums up the 
conditions of the Kamaloka, the Rupaloka, and so on 
as what Childers puts it (Pali Dictionary, p. 447). 
" It is, in the first place ", says Mrs. Rhys Davids, 
" a manual or text-book, and not a treatise or dis- 
quisition, elaborated and rendered attractive and 
edifying after the manner of most of the Sutta Pitaka. 
And then, that its subject is ethics, but that the 
inquiry is conducted from a psychological standpoint, 
and indeed, is in great part an analysis of the 
psychological and psycho-physical data of ethics " 
(Psychological Ethics, p. xxxii). King Vijayabahu I 
(A.D. 1065-1120) of Ceylon made a translation of 
the Dhammasangani from Pali into Sinhalese (see 
Mrs. Rhys Davids A Buddhist Manual of Psycholo- 
gical Ethics, Introductory Essay, p. xxv). The first 
English rendering of this work owes its origin to the 
erudite pen of Mrs. Rhys Davids and is entitled 
" A Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics " 
the introductory essay herein gives a bright idea 
of the history, date, contents, etc., of the text very 
lucidly and exhaustively. The Dhammasangani 
aims at enumerating and defining a manner of 
scattered terms or categories of terms, occurring 
in the nikayas of the Sutta Pitaka. That the 
technical terms used in the nikayas are used in it, 
leads one to place the Dhammasangani, in point of 
time, after the nikayas. The Kathavatthu which 
is the fifth book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka is said 
to have been composed by Tissa Moggaliputta in the 
middle of the third century B.C. According to 
Mrs. Rhys Davids, Dhammasangani deals with the 
same topics as in the nikayas differing only in method 
of treatment. The Kathavatthu raises new questions 
belonging to a later stage in the development of the 
faith. The Dhammasangani is, therefore, younger 
than the nikayas and older than the Kathavatthu. 
If we date it half-way between the two, that is, 
during the first third of the fourth century B.C., 


306 A History of Pali Literature 

we shall be on the safe side. But Mrs. Rhys Davids 
thinks that the Dhammasangani should be dated 
rather at the middle than at the end of the fourth 
century or even earlier. 

The Dhammasangani opens with an introductory 
chapter which serves the purpose of a table of 
contents and which falls into two subdivisions : (1) 
the sections referring to Abhidhamma and (2) 
those referring to Suttanta. The total number of 
these sections amounts to about 1,599 and treats of 
various points of psychological interest. This book 
is divided into three main divisions. The first part 
deals with the subject of consciousness in its good, 
bad, and indeterminate states or conditions. The 
main eight types of thought relating to sensuous 
universe (Kamavacara mahacittam) are the first 
things considered here. The Dhammasangani 
lays down that whenever a good thought relating to 
sensuous universe arises, it is accompanied by 
pleasure, taste, touch and is then followed by 
contact (phasso), feeling (vedana), perception (sanna), 
volition (cetana), thought (cittarh) and in this way 
come other things which include also the right 
views (sammaditthi) and other methods of the 
noble path, the various balas (or sources of strength), 
e.g., saddha (faith), viriya (energy), etc. Then 
follows an exposition of phassa (contact), vedana 
(feeling), and so on. In the explanation and exposi- 
tion a strict cominentarial method has been adopted 
giving out fully the significance of each term. 

The Dhammasangani contains the simple 
enumeration and the occasion for the rise of sampa- 
jannam (intelligence), samatho (quiet), paggaho 
(grasp), and avikkhepo (balance). It points out that 
the constituents of the first type of thought deal 
with the four khandhas (aggregates),the two ayatanas 
(abodes), two dhatus (elements), the three aharas 
(nutriments), the eight indriyas (senses), the five- 
fold jhanas (as distinguished from the four jhanas), 
the fivefold path, the seven balas (as distinguished 
from one as we find in the Nettipakarana), tayo hetu 

Canonical Pali Literature 307 

(three causes), eko phassa (one contact), one vedana 
(sensation), one sanna (consciousness), eka cetana 
(thinking), ekam cittam (one thought), the mana- 
yatana (sphere of ideation), the manovinnanadhatu 
(element of intellection). The four khandhas are 
separately dealt with. In the enumeration of the 
Sankharakhandho about 50 states beginning with 
phasso (contact) and ending with avikkhepo (balance) 
have been mentioned. The enumeration and arrange- 
ment of this list differ from those given in the first 
chapter of the Dhammasangani dealing with the 

The two ayatanas are the manayatana and 
dhammayatana, the sphere of mind and that of 
mental states. 

There are two dhatus or elements, Manovinna- 
dhatu (intellection) and Dhammadhatu (condition). 
The Dhammadhatu includes the vedana-khandha 
(aggregate of sensation), sanna-khandha (aggregate 
of consciousness), and sankhara-khandha (aggregate 
of confections). 

The three aharas (nutriments) are contact, 
volition, and consciousness. Then come the Pan- 
cangikadhamma, the fivefold j liana which includes 
the vitakka and vicara (initial and sustained applica- 
tion), joy, happiness, and concentration of mind. 

The Dhammasangani then deals with the five- 
fold path, namely, the right views, the right intention, 
right exertion, right intellection, and right con- 

Then the seven potentialities are discussed, 
namely, faith, energy, recollection, concentration, 
insight, consciousness, and the fear of blame. 

Then the three hetus or moral roots are dis- 
cussed : they are absence of avarice, hatred, and 
delusion. Then contact, sensation, and perception 
are treated of. 

Then come the other topics, e.g., vedana- 
khandha, safina-khandha, sankhara-khandha, and 
vinnana-khandha, all these include the Dhamma and 
the Khandha. 

308 A History of Pali Literature 

The Indriyas (senses) are the following : 
saddha (faith), viriya (energy), sati (recollection), 
samadhi (meditation), panfia (wisdom), manindriya 
(mind), somanassindriya (delight), and jlvitindriya 

The sankhara-khandha includes phassa (con- 
tact), cetana (thinking), vitakka and vicara (initial 
and sustained application), ekaggata (concentration), 
saddha (faith), energy, recollection, vigour, right 
determination, exertion, meditation, potency of 
faith, energy, concentration, fear of blame and sin, 
absence of avarice, of hatred, of covetousness, of 
malice, calmness of mind and body, etc. In the 
Dhammasangani there are chapters which analyse 
everything into groups or pairs. The method 
adopted here is merely by questioning and answering 
the main points. 

The Dhammsangani also discusses the four 
modes of progress and four objects of thought. It 
also deals with objects of meditation (atthakasinam). 
Then it discusses about forms as infinite and as 
beautiful and ugly. 

The four jhanas or the sublime abodes may 
be developed in sixteen ways. Then come the 
sphere of infinite intellect, the sphere of nothingness 
and the sphere where there is neither perception nor 
non-perception. Then come the topics of the kama- 
vacarakusalam, rupavacarakusalam, and lokuttara 
cittam. Then come the twelve akusala cittas, 
manadhatu having kusalavipaka (mind as a result 
of meritorious work), manovinnana dhatu (con- 
sciousness associated with joy as a result of 
meritorious deed), consciousness associated with 
upekkha (indifference). 

Then come Atthamahavipaka, rupavacara- 
arupavacara vipaka, suddhika-patipada (path lead- 
ing to purity), suddhika sannatam (four modes of 
progress taken in connection with the notion of 

Then come the nineteen conceptions, and the 
modes of progress taken in connection with the 

Canonical Pali Literature 309 

dominant influence of desire. Then are discussed 
the following topics : 

1. The Pathamamaggo vipaka the result 

of the first path. 

2. The Lokuttara vipaka the result of 

Lokuttara citta. 

3. Akusala vipaka avyakata the result of 

demerit not falling under the category 
of kusala and akusala. 

Kamavacara-kiriya is the action in the sensuous 
world, rupavacara-kiriya, action in the world of 
form, and arupavacara-kiriya, action in the world of 

After the conclusion of the subjects of kusala 
and akusala, the avyakata (which is neither kusala 
nor akusala) is treated in the DhammasanganL 

Next follows the portion dealing with the 
form which is created through some cause, the 
collection of forms in two, in groups of three, four, 
five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and eleven. In this 
way the forms are divided. 

Then come the three kusala hetus, the three 
akusala hetus, and the three avyakata hetus. 

Then follow the mental impurities, avarice, 
hatred, pride, false belief, doubt, dullness, restless- 
ness, shamelessness, and disregard of blame and 

The latter portion of the Dhammasangani is a 
summary of what has been told in the previous 
portion. The book is full of repetitions and is a crude 
attempt at explaining certain terms of Buddhist 
psychology by supplying synonyms for them, but 
not the detailed explanations. It is free from 
metaphor or simile. 

The topics set forth in the table of contents 
have been treated in the body of the book. There 
are in the Dhammasangani passages which can be 
traced in the Puggalapafmatti, Samannaphala 
Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya, and in the Milinda 
Panha. A detailed explanation of the important 

310 A History of Pali Literature 

topics treated of in this book is given in the 

In dealing with the Buddhist method of ex- 
position in the Abhidhamma 
Method of ex- treatises, we should bear in mind 
DhlimSaBahgani. the fact that the method of exposi- 
tion is the same in all the Abhi- 
dhamma books. For the sake of our convenience 
let us take up the Dhammasahgam, the first book of 
the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Mrs. Rhys Davids in her 
Buddhist Manual of Psychological Ethics (pp. xxxii- 
xxxvii), a translation of the Dhammasangani or 
Compendium of states or phenomena, has dealt 
exhaustively with the method of exposition followed 
in the above book. 

The Dhammasangani is, in the first place, a 
manual or text-book, and not a treatise or disquisi- 
tion elaborated and rendered attractive and edifying 
after the manner of most of the Sutta Pitaka. That 

the Buddhist Philosophy is ethical first and last, 
is beyond dispute. So it is with the Dhammasangani. 
Its subject is ethics. But the inquiry is conducted 
from a psychological standpoint and, indeed, is in 
great part an analysis of the psychological and 
psychophysical data of ethics. 

The work was not compiled solely for academic 
use. Buddhaghosa maintains that, together with 
the rest of the Abhidhamma, it was the ipsissima 
verba of the Buddha not attempting to upset the 
mythical tradition that it was the special mode he 
adopted in teaching the doctrine to the " hosts of 
devas come from all parts of the sixteen world- 
systems, he having placed his mother (reincarnate as 
a devi) at their head because of the glory of her 
wisdom ". Whether this myth had grown up to 
account for the formal, unpicturesque style of the 
Abhidhamma, on the ground that the devas were 
above the need of illustration and rhetoric of an 
earthly kind, we cannot say. The commentary 
frequently refers to the peculiar difference in style 
from that employed in the suttanta as consisting 

Canonical Pali Literature 311 

in the Abhidhamma being nippariydyadesand 
teaching which is not accompanied by explanation 
or disquisition. The definition of the term Abhi- 
dhamma in it shows that this pitaka, and a fortiori 
the Dhammasangani, was considered as a subject 
of study more advanced than the other pitakas, and 
intended to serve as the complement and crown of 
the learners' earlier courses. Acquaintance with 
the doctrine is taken for granted. The object is 
not so much to extend knowledge as to ensure 
mutual consistency in the intension of ethical 
notions, and to systematise and formulate the 
theories and practical mechanism of intellectual and 
moral progress scattered throughout the suttas. 

It is interesting to note the methods adopted 
to carry out this object. The work was in the first 
instance inculcated by way of oral teaching respecting 
a quantity of matter which had been already learnt 
in the same way. And the memory had to be 
assisted by other devices. First of these is the 
catechetical method. Questions, according to 
Buddhist analysis, are put on five grounds : 

To throw light on what is known ; 
To discuss what is known ; 
To clear up doubts ; 

To get assent (i.e., the premises in an argument 
granted) ; 

To (give a starting-point from which to) set 
out the content of the statement. 

The last is selected as the special motive of the 
catechising here resorted to. It is literally the 
wish to discuss or expound, but the meaning is 
more clearly brought out by the familiar formula 
quoted, viz., " Four in number, brethren, are these 
stations in mindfulness. Now which are the four ? " 
Thus the questions in the Manual are analytic or 

And the memory was yet further assisted by 
the symmetrical form of both question and answer, 

312 A History of PdU Literature 

as well as by the generic uniformity in the matter 
of the questions. Throughout the first book, in 
the case of each enquiry which opens up a new 
subject, the answer is set out in a definite plan 
called uddesa, or " argument ", and is rounded off 
invariably by the appana, or emphatic summing up. 
The uddesa is succeeded by the niddesa or exposi- 
tion, i.e., analytical question and answer on the 
details of the opening argument. Again, the work 
is in great part planned with careful regard to logical 
relation. There is scarcely an answer in any of 
these niddesas but may perhaps be judged to suffer 
in precision and lucidity. They substitute for 
definition proper the method of the dictionary. In 
this way precision of meaning is not to be expected, 
since nearly all the so-called synonyms do but 
mutually overlap in meaning without coinciding. 
Mrs. Rhys Davids, in her Buddhist Psychology 
(pp. 139-140), says that the definitions consist very 
largely of enumerations of synonymous or partly 
synonymous terms of, as it were, overlapping circles. 
But they reveal to us much useful information con- 
cerning the term described, the terms describing, 
and the terms which we may have expected to find, 
but find not. And they show the Sokratic earnest- 
ness with which these early Schoolmen strove to 
clarify their concepts, so as to guard their doctrines 
from the heretical innovations, to which ambiguity 
in terms would yield cheap foothold. 

Number plays a great part in Buddhist classes 
and categories. But of all numbers none plays so 
great a part in aiding methodological coherency 
and logical consistency as that of duality (positive 
and negative). 

Throughout most of the second book the learner 
is greatly aided by being questioned on positive 
terms and their opposites, taken simply and also in 
combination with other similarly dichotomized pairs. 
Room is also left in the " Universe of discourse " 
for a third class, which in its turn comes into 
question. Thus the whole of the first book is a 

Canonical Pali Literature 313 

development of triplet questions with which the 
third book begins. 

Finally, there is, in the way of mnemonic and 
intellectual aid, the simplifying and unifying effect 
attained by causing all the questions (exclusive of 
sub-inquiries) to refer to one category of dhamma. 

There is, it is true, a whole book of questions 
referring to rupam, but this constitutes a very 
much elaborated sub-inquiry on material " form " 
as one sub-species of a species of dhamma-rupino- 
dhamma, as distinguished from all the rest, which 
are arupinodhamma. 

Thus the whole Manual is shown to be a com- 
pendium or more literally, a co-enumeration of 

Vibhanga. The Vibhanga or the Dharma- 
skandha of the Sarvastivada school is the second 
book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. Mrs. Rhys 
Davids has edited this volume for the P.T.S., 
London. There are Sinhalese, Siamese, and Burmese 
editions of this text. 

The Vibhanga (exposition) generally deals with 
the different categories and formulae treated of in 
the Dhainmasarigani. It has many of the repeti- 
tions of the chapters of the Dhammasangani, but 
the method followed in the Vibhanga and the 
matter contained in it are found to be almost 
different from those of the Dhammasangani. It 
contains some terms and definitions not found in 
the Dhammasangani. The book is divided into 
eighteen chapters called Vibhanga. Each of these 
chapters has three portions, viz. : (1) Suttanta- 
bhajaniya, (2) Abhidhammabhajaniya,and (3) Panfia- 
pucchaka or catechism. The Vibhanga opens with 
Khandhavibhanga or the chapter on aggregates. 
In the Suttantabhajaniya portion, each of the 
ingredients, rupa, vedana, sanna, and sankhara, is 
treated of and has been examined with reference to 
its time, space, and matter. In the Abhidhamma- 
bhajaniya portion, each of the five ingredients has 
been separately dealt with. There are four ways in 

314 A History of Pali Literature 

which rupa arises ; there is no hetu or primal cause 
for the rupa. Likewise there are ten ways for the 
rise of vedana or sensation. Vedana can also be 
classified into various groups according as kusala 
(good), akusala (bad), avyakata (neither good nor 
bad), and object ideation (arammana) are taken into 
consideration. There are various methods by which 
sanna can be classified and so are the cases with 
sankhara and vififiana. In the chapter on Panna- 
pucchaka the five khandhas have been variously 
classified. In this chapter all the khandhas are 
taken into consideration with respect to sukha, 
vedana, etc. Rupakhandha is not an object ideation. 
The three khandhas are cetasika. Rupa is outside 
the citta group while vedana cannot be said to 
be so. In this way all the khandhas have been 
differently treated. In the Suttantabhajaniya por- 
tion various ayatanas (abodes) are taken into con- 
sideration. Each of them is impermanent, non- 
existing, and unchanging. In the Abhidhamma- 
bhajaniya portion, each of the two groups of 
ayatanas is separately dealt with. The mano- 
viniiana ayatana can be traced by touch. Rupa- 
yatana is that which is based on four great elements. 
In this way all the ayatanas are considered with 
reference to their time, space, and causation. In the 
Dhatuvibhanga portion it is stated that there are six 
dhatus, viz. : pathavi, apa, teja, vayu, akasa, and 

Pathavi dhatu is of two kinds, (1) internal and 
(2) external. Portions of body are internal and 
anything outside one's own self is external. Besides 
these, there are six other dhatus. A further list of 
six dhatus is added. So we find that there are 
eighteen dhatus. In the Abhidhamma portion also 
we find the same number of dhatus. In the Panna- 
pucchaka portion it is stated that some of the 
eighteen dhatus are kusala, some akusala, while 
others avyakata. The dhatus are then variously 
classified according as they are citta or cetasika, 
sinful or not, caused or uncaused, determinable or 

Canonical Pali Literature 315 

indeterminate. We like to mention here in brief 
some more vibhangas. In the chapter on the 
Saccavibhanga, the four ariyasaccas, e.g., dukkham, 
dukkhasamudayam, dukkhanirodham, dukkhani- 
rodhagamini-patipada (i.e., suffering, origin of suffer- 
ing, cessation of suffering, and the path leading to 
the cessation of suffering) are dealt with. In the 
Indriyavibhanga twenty-two indriyas have been 
treated. The twenty-two indriyas are : 1. cakkhu 
(eye), 2. sota (ear), 3. ghana (nose), 4. jihva 
(tongue), 5. kaya (sense of touch), 6. mana 
(mind), 7. itthi (feminity), 8. purisa (masculinity), 
9. jivita (vitality), 10. sukha (joy), 11. dukkha 
(suffering), 12. somanassa (delight), 13. doma- 
nassa (grief), 14. upekkha (indifference), 15. saddha 
(faith), 16. viriya (energy), 17. sati (recollection), 
18. samadhi (concentration or contemplation), 19. 
pafina (wisdom), 20. anannatannassamitindriyam 
(the sense which says, " I will know what is not 
known "), 21. afimndriyam (sense of knowledge),, 
and 22. annatavindriyarh (sense of having thorough- 
ly known). In the Paccayakaravibhanga various 
paccayas are enumerated and explained after which 
the suttanta portion naturally closes. In the 
Satipatthanavibhanga the suttanta portion deals with 
the four satipatthanas, each of which is separately 
explained and at the end of each there is an annota- 
tion of difficult words. In the Sammapadhana- 
vibhanga the four essentials have been dealt with at 
length after which a word-for-word commentary 
follows. In the Bojjhangavibhanga the seven 
bojjharigas or supreme knowledge, e.g., sati (re- 
collection), dhammavicaya (investigation), viriya 
(energy), piti (joy), passadhi (calm), samadhi (con- 
templation), and upekkha (equanimity) are men- 
tioned and the same plan has been followed as in the 
previous sections. In the Maggavibhanga the 
Noble Eightfold Path, e.g., sammaditthi (right view), 
sammasamkappa (right thought), sammavaca (right 
speech), sammakammanta (right action), sammaajiva 
(right living), sammavayama (right exertion), samma- 

316 A History of Pali Literature 

sati (right recollection), and sammasamadhi (right 
meditation), has been discussed in the same method 
as noticed before. In the Jhanavibhanga various 
jhanas have been enumerated and explained. Then 
we have sections on sikkhapadas or precepts which 
have been taken into consideration beginning with 
panatipata, etc. The Patisambhidavibhanga, 
Jnanavibhanga, Khuddakavatthuvibhanga, and 
Dhammahadayavibhanga are discussed one after the 
other and these form the closing sections of the 

To sum up : the object is to formulate the 
theories and practical mechanism of intellectual 
and moral progress scattered throughout the 
Sutta Pitaka and not to extend knowledge. 

The Kathdvatthu. The Kathavatthu 1 or the 
Vijnanapada is the third book of the Abhidhamma 
Pitaka. It is a Buddhist book of debate on matters 

of theology and philosophy. It is younger than the 
Dhammasangani. A close investigation will make 
it evident that this book of controversy is looked 
upon in one way as no more than a book of inter- 
pretation. A few specimens of controversy which 
the Kathavatthu has embodied show that both 
sides referred to the Buddha as the final court of 
appeal. This work has been edited by Mr. A. C. 
Taylor for the P.T.S. in two volumes and translated 
into English by Mr. S. Z. Aung and Mrs. Rhys 
Davids under the title of " Points of Controversy". 
Mrs. Rhys Davids has ably written a chapter on 
some psychological points in the Kathavatthu in 
her work on Buddhist Psychology, Second Ed. 
(1924), which deserves mention. The editor has 
made use of the following manuscripts in editing 
the text : 

1. Paper manuscript from the collection of 
Mrs. Rhys Davids, 

1 An interesting paper by T. W. Rhys Davids, " Question 
discussed in the Kathavatthu ", J.R.A.S., 1802, deserves mention. 
Read Buddhist Notes, The Five Points of Makhadeva, and the 
Kathavatthu, J.R.A.S., 1910. 

Canonical Pali Literature 317 

2. Palm-leaf manuscript belonging to Prof. 

Rhys Davids, 

3. Palm-leaf manuscript belonging to the 

Royal Asiatic Society, and 

4. Mandalay palm-leaf manuscript from the 

India Office collection. 

A Siamese edition of this work has been used 
by the editor. This book consists of 23 chapters. 

The first chapter deals with Puggala or personal 
entity, 1 falling away of an arahant, 2 higher life 
among the devas, 3 the putting away of corruptions 
or vices by one portion at a time, 4 the casting off 
sensuous passions (kamaraga) and ill-will (byapada) 
by a worldling (puthujjano), 5 everything as per- 
sistently existing, some of the past and future as 
still existing, applications in mindfulness (sati- 
patthana), and existence in immutable modes (atitam 

" H'ev'atthi h'eva 

n' atthiti. S'eva' atthi s'eva n' atthiti ? 
Na h'evam vattabbe-pe-s'ev'atthi 
s'eva n'atthlti ? Amanta." 

(For English translation vide Points of 
Controversy, pp. 108 foil.) 

1 I like to draw the reader's attention to an interesting paper 
by Mrs. Rhys Davids published in the Prabuddha Bharata, May, 
1931, entitled, " How does man survive ? " According to the 
Buddhists the individual has no real existence. It is only a 
Sammuti. Buddhaghosa accepts this view. He says that on the 
existence of Khandhas, such as rupa, etc., there is the usage 
' evamnarna ', v evamgotta '. Because of this usage, common 
consent, and name, there is the Puggala-Kathavatthupakarana- 
att-hakatha, pp. 33-35. 

2 " Falling away " is, more literally, declined, the opposite of 
growth (vide Points of Controversy by Shwe Zan Aung and 
Mrs. Rhys Davids, p. 64 f.n.). 

8 The higher life is of twofold import : path -culture and 
renunciation of the world. No deva practises the latter (vide 
Points of Controversy, p. 71). 

* This comes under the head of Purification piecemeal in the 
Kathavatthu " Odhisodliiso kilese jahatiti ? " Kathavatthu, Vol. I, 
p. 103. 

5 It means an average man of the world. 

318 A History of Pali Literature 

The second chapter deals with the arahant or the 
elect, the knowledge of the arahant, the arahant 
being excelled by others, doubt in the arahant, 
specified progress in penetration, Buddha's everyday 
usage * (vohara), duration of consciousness, two 
cessations (dve nirodha), etc. 

The third chapter deals with the powers or 
potentialities of the Tathagata (Tathagatabalam). 8 
It further deals with emancipation, 3 controlling 
powers of the eighth man (atthamaka puggala), 4 
divine eye, 5 divine ear (dibbasota), 6 insight into 
destiny according to deeds, 7 moral restraint (sam- 
varo), unconscious life, 8 etc. 

The fourth chapter deals with the following 
subjects, e.g., attainment of arahatship by a lay- 
man (gihi or householder), 9 common humanity of an 

1 According to the Andhakas, his daily usages were supramun- 
dane usages (Points of Controversy, p. 134). 

2 Of a Tathagata' s "ten powers " some he holds wholly in common 
with his disciples, some not, and some are partly common to both 
(Points of Controversy, p. 139). 

3 " Saragam cittarh vimuccati "That " becoming eman- 
cipated " has reference to the mind full of passion. 

4 The eighth man has no saddha (faith), viriya (energy), sati 
(recollection), samadhi (meditation), and patina (wisdom). Vide 
Kathavatthu, Vol. I, p. 247. 

5 Fleshy eye (marhsacakkhu), when it is the medium of an 
idea (dhammapatthaddharh) becomes the celestial eye (dibbacakkhu) 
Kathavatthu, Vol. I, p. 251. Vide also Points of Controversy, 
p. 149. This is a view of the Andhakas and Sammitiyas, says 
Mrs. Rhys Davids on the authority of the Kathavatthuppakarana- 

6 Cf. Majjhima Xikaya, Vol. II, 19 Dibbaya sotadhatuya. 

7 Yathakarnmupagatarh fianarh dibbacakkhunti ? the celestial 
eye amounts to insight into destiny according to deeds (Katha- 
vatthu, Vol. I, p. 256 and Points of Controversy, p. 151). Cf. Digha 
Nikaya, Vol. I, p. 82 : kt So dibbena cakkhuna visuddhena atik- 
kantamanusakena satte passati cavamane upapajjamane, hliie 
panite suvanne dubbanne sugate duggate yatha kammupage satte 

8 Asannasattesu sanna atthiti ? Is there any consciousness 
among the unconscious beings ? Kathavatthu, Vol. I, p. 2(>0. 
The Andhakas concede consciousness to those devas of the un- 
conscious sphere at the moment of rebirth and of decease (Points 
of Controversy, p. 153). 

9 Cf. Yasa, Uttiya, Setu who attained arahatship in all the 
circumstances of life in the laity Points of Controversy, p. 158. 

Canonical Pali Literature 319 

arahant, retention of distinctive endowments, 1 
arahant's indifference in sense-cognition, 2 entering 
on the path of assurance, 8 putting off the fetter, 4 etc. 

The fifth chapter deals with knowledge of 
emancipation (vimuttinanam), knowledge of a 
learner (sekha), perverted perception (viparite 
nanam), assurance (niyama), analytical knowledge 
(patisambhida), popular knowledge (sammutifianam), 
mental object in telepathy (cetopariyayenanam), 
knowledge of the present (paccuppanna nanam), 
knowledge of the future (anagata nanam), and 
knowledge in the fruition of a disciple (savakassa 

The sixth chapter begins with the controverted 
point that the assurance (of salvation or niyama) is 
unconditioned or uncreated, so also is Nibbana. 
Then it treats of causal genesis (paticcasamuppada 
or dependent origination), four truths (cattari 
saccam), four immaterial spheres of life and thought, 5 
of the attaining to cessation (nirodhasamapatti), of 
space (akasa) as unconditioned (asamkata) and 

1 Under this section arise the following questions : araha catuhi 
phalehi samaimagato ti ? Is an arahat endowed with four fruitions ? 
Is an arahat endowed with four kinds of contact (phassa), four 
kinds of sensation (vedana), four kinds of consciousness (sanna), 
four kinds of cotana (volition), four kinds of thought (citta), four 
kinds of faith (saddha), four kinds of energy (viriya), four kinds of 
recollection (sati), four kinds of meditation (samadhi), and four 
kinds of knowledge or wisdom (panna) ? (Kathavatthu, Vol. T, 
p. 274.) The answers to these questions are in the affirmative. 
All personal endowments, according to the Theravadins, are only 
held as distinct acquisitions, until they are cancelled by other 
acquisitions Points of Controversy, p. 161. 

2 An arahat is endowed with sixfold indifference (upekkha). 

3 During the dispensation (pavacana doctrine, teaching) of 
Kassapa Buddha the Bodhisatta has entered on the path of assurance 
and conformed to the life therein. Points of Controversy, p. 167 ; 
of. Majjhima Nikaya, II, pp. 46 foil. 

4 Sabbasannojananam pahanam arahattamti ? This is the 
question raised in this section. The answer is that arahatship is 
the removal of all obstacles. Mrs. Rhys Davids points out on the 
authority of the commentary that this is an opinion of the 

6 Akasanancayatanam asamkatam the sphere of infinite space 
is unconditioned or uncreated. 

320 A History of Pali Literature 

visible, and of each of the four elements, the five 
senses, and action as visibles. 

The seventh chapter treats of the classification 
of things 1 (samgahltakatha), of mental states as 
mutually connected (sampayutta), of mental pro- 
perties (cetasikas), of the controverted points that 
dana is (not the gift but) the mental state (cetasika 
dhamma), that merit increases with utility (pari- 
bhogamayampunnam vaddhati), that earth is a 
result of action (pathavlkammavipaka), that decay 
and death (jaramarana) are consequences of action, 
that Ariyan states of mind (ariyadhamma) have no 
positive result (vipaka), that result is itself a state 
entailing resultant states 2 (vipakadhammadhammo). 

The eighth chapter deals with the six spheres 
of the destiny (chagatiyo). According to the Buddha 
there are five destinies, such as purgatory (niraya), 
the animal kingdom (tiracchanayoni), the peta- 
realm (pettivisaya), mankind (manussa), and the 
devas (deva). To these five the Andhakas and the 
Uttarapathakas add another, namely, the Asuras. 
Then it treats of the following controverted points : 
that there is an intermediate state of existence 
(antarabhava), that the kama-sphere means only 
the fivefold pleasures of sense (Paric'eva kamaguna 
kamadhatu), that the ultimate ' element of rupa ' 
is the thing cognised as material, that the ultimate 
element of arftpa is the thing cognised as immaterial, 
that in the rupa-sphere the individual has all the 
six senses (salayatana), that there is matter among 
the immaterials, that physical actions proceeding 

1 The things cannot be grouped together by means of abstract 
ideas (N'atthi keci dhamma kehici dhammehi sahgahita). We learn 
from the commentary that it is a belief held by the Rajagirikas 
and the Siddhatthikas that the orthodox classification of particular 
material qualities under one generic concept of matter, etc., is 
worthless for this reason that things cannot be grouped together 
by means of ideas. The argument seeks to point out a different 
meaning in the notion of grouping (Points of Controversy, p. 195). 

2 See 'Points of Controversy' (P.T.S.) by S. Z. Aung and 
Mrs. Rhys Davids. Vide also Buddhist Psychological Ethics by 
Mrs. Rhys Davids, p. 253, f.n. 1. 

Canonical Pali Literature 321 

from good or bad thoughts amount to a moral act 
of karma, that there is no such thing as a material 
vital power l (n'atthi rupajivitindriyanto), and that 
because of karma an arahant may fall away from 
arahantship (kammahetu araha arahatta parihayati). 

The ninth chapter deals with the way whereby 
the fetters are put off for one who discerns a blessing 
(in store) (anisamsadassavissa sanfiojananam 
pahanam). Then it discusses that the " Ambrosial " 
(amatam) is an object of thought not yet freed from 
bondage, whether matter should be subjective or 
objective, that latent (immoral) bias and insight 
are without mental object. Then it records a 
discussion between the Uttarapathakas and the 
Theravadins as to whether consciousness of a past 
object or of future ideas is without object. The 
former holds that when mind recalls a past object, 
it is without object. Their views are proved to be 
self-contradictory by the Theravadins. 

The tenth chapter deals with the five ' operative ' 
(kiriya) aggregates (khandhas) which arise before 
live aggregates seeking rebirth have ceased. It 
treats of the eightfold path and bodily form and 
discusses the points that the eightfold path can be 
developed while enjoying the five kinds of sense- 
consciousness (pafica vinnana) which are * co- 
ideational(sabhoga),good (kusala), and bad (akusala), 
that one engaged in the path practises a double 
morality (dvihisilehi), that virtue, which is not a 
property of consciousness, rolls along after thought, 
that acts of intimation (vinfiatti) are moral (silam) 
and those of non-intimation (avifinatti) are immoral 

The eleventh chapter begins with the disputed 
point that the latent bias (anusaya) is ' indeter- 
minate ' (avyakata). It discusses that insight is 
not united with consciousness, and that insight into 
the nature of ill is put into operation from the 

1 Cf. Vibhanga, 123 vital power is twofold material and 


322 A History of Pali Literature 

utterance of the word, " This is ill ". It treats of 
the force of the iddhi (magic gift, miracle), con- 
centration (samadhi), the causality of things 
(dhammatthitata parinipphanna), and impermanence 

The twelfth chapter deals with acts of restraint 
(samvaro kamma). It discusses that all actions 
have moral results and that sense-organs are the 
results of karma. It further treats of seven rebirths, 
limit, murder, evil tendencies which are eliminated 
in the case of a person who has reached the seventh 

The thirteenth chapter deals with a doomed 
man's morality, captivity, and release, lust for the 
unpleasant, etc. 

The fourteenth chapter discusses that the roots 
of good and bad thoughts follow consecutively and 
conversely. It treats of the development of sense- 
organs of a being in human embryo. It deals with 
the questions relating to the immediate contiguity 
in sense, outward life of an ariya, unconscious 
outbursts of corruption, desire as innate in heavenly 
things, the unmoral and the unrevealed and the 

The fifteenth chapter treats of correlation as 
specifically fixed, reciprocal correlation, time, four 
asavas (sins), decay and death of spiritual things, 
trance as a means of reaching the unconscious sphere, 
and of karma and its accumulation (karma is one 
thing and its accumulation is another). 

The sixteenth chapter deals with controlling and 
assisting another's mind, making another happy, and 
attending to everything at the same time. It 
discusses that material qualities are accompanied by 
conditions good or moral, bad or immoral ; they are 
results of karma. This chapter further treats of 
matter as belonging to the material and immaterial 
heavens, of desire for life in the higher heavens. 

The seventeenth chapter records that an arahat 
accumulates merit and cannot have a premature 
death, that everything is due to karma, that dukkha 

Canonical Pali Literature 323 

is completely bound up with sentient organisms, 
that all other conditioned things excepting the 
Ariyan Path only are held to be ill (dukkha). It 
treats of the Order, the accepting of gifts, daily 
life, the fruit of giving (a thing given to the Order 
brings great reward), and sanctification of the gift 
(a gift is sanctified by the giver only and not by 
the recipient). 

The eighteenth chapter deals with the Buddha's 
living in the world of mankind, the manner in which 
the Dhamma was taught, the Buddha feeling no 
pity, one and only path, transition from one jhana 
(rapt musing or abstraction) to another, seeing 
visible objects with the eye, etc. 

The nineteenth chapter treats of getting rid of 
corruption, the void which is included in the aggre- 
gate of mental co-efficients (samkhara-khandha), the 
fruits of recluseship, patti (attainment) which is 
unconditioned, fundamental characteristics of all 
things which are unconditioned, Nibbana as morally 
good, final assurance, and the moral controlling 
powers (indriyakatha). 

The twentieth chapter treats of the five cardinal 
crimes, insight which is not for the average man, 
guards of purgatories, 1 rebirths of animals in heaven, 
the Aryan Path which is fivefold, and the spiritual 
character of insight into the twelvefold base. 

The twenty-first chapter discusses that the 
religion is subject to reformation. It treats of 
certain fetters, supernormal potency (iddhi), 
Buddhas, all-pervading power of the Buddha, natural 
immutability of all things, and inflexibility of all 

The twenty-second chapter treats of the com- 
pletion of life, moral consciousness, imperturbable 
(Fourth Jhana) consciousness, attainment of Arahat- 
ship by the embryo, penetration of truth by a 

i Some hold that there are no such beings but that the hell- 
doomed karmas in the shape of hell -keepers purge the sufferers. 
Points of Controversy, p. 346. 

324 A History of Pali Literature 

dreamer, attainment of Arahatship by a dreamer, 
the unmoral, correlation by repetition, and mo- 
mentary duration. 

The twenty-third chapter deals with the topic 
of a Bodhisatta who (a) goes to hell (vinipatam 
gacchati), (b) enters a womb (gabbhaseyyam okka- 
mati), (c) performs hard tasks (dukkara-karikam 
akasi), (d) works penance under alien teachers of 
his own accord and free will (aparantapam akasi, 
aniiarh sattharam uddisi). This chapter further 
deals with the controverted point that the aggre- 
gates, elements, controlling powers all save ill is 
undetermined (aparinipphanna). 

The Kathavatthu is undoubtedly a work of the 

Asokan age. The generally accepted 

Kathavatthu, a v i ew i s that the Kathavatthu was 

work of Asoka s j i -n/r T A m- 

time. composed by Moggahputta Tissa 

Thera, President of the Third 
Buddhist Council which was held at Pataliputta 
(modern Patna) under the patronage of King 
Asoka. 1 The Mahavamsa gives a clear account of 
the council. It is evident from it that at the time 
of Asoka there existed different schools of Buddhism. 
It was apprehended that Theravadism might be 
supplanted by other Buddhist sects which seceded 
from it. Even in the Buddhist Church at Patali- 

putta, which is doubtless an orthodox church, 
Theravada practices were going out of use. Asoka 
who was certainly a follower of Theravadism 
(otherwise we do not find any reason why he should 
stand for the Thera vadins a losing side), with a 
view to bring order in place of disorder, and in order 
that the true doctrine (Theravadism) might long 
endure, was eager to convene a council which, as 
we have said before, was held under the presidency 
of Moggaliputta Tissa Thera, the leader of the 
orthodox Buddhist Church. It was decided that 
the Buddha was a Thera vadin or a Vibhajjavadin 
and the doctrine preached by him was synonymous 

1 Mahavamsa (Geiger), Chap. V, 55. 

Canonical Pali Literature 325 

with Buddhism. Moggaliputta then composed the 
Kathavatthu in which he refuted the heretical views 
views which were against Theravadism. It will 
not be out of place to mention here that other 
Buddhist sects did not take part in the proceedings 
of the council. Accordingly this council was re- 
garded as a party meeting of the Theravadins. 

The internal evidences of the Pali books them- 
selves point to the fact that the Kathavatthu is a 
compilation of the Asokan age. Let us see whether 
external evidences also lead us to the same con- 
clusion. For this we are to turn to the lithic records 
of Asoka. It has now been definitely settled that 
Asoka was a Buddhist. This king, in his Bhabru 
Edict, recommends to the sisters and brethren of 
the Order, and to the lay disciples of either sex, 
frequently to hear, and to meditate upon, certain 
selected passages, namely, Aliya-vasani, Anagata- 
bhayani, Munigatha, Moneya-sute, Upatisapasine, 
and Laghulovade. 1 All these passages have now 
been identified with those in the Pali canonical 
works. It is true that Asoka does not mention the 
Kathavatthu by name in the lithic records. But if 
we carefully read his inscriptions we shall find the 
influence of the Kathavatthu in the Rock Edict IX. 

In the Rock Edict IX, the inscription runs as 
follows : 

Siya va-tam atharh nivateya (,) siyapuna no 
hidalokike cha vase (.) lyarh-puna dhamma- 
magale akalikye (.) Hamche pi tam-atham 
no nite-ti hida atham palata anamtam 
(puna) pavasati (.) Hamche puna tam- 
atham nivate-ti hida tato ubhaye ladhe 
hoti hida cha se-athe palata cha anamtam 
pumnam pavasati tena dhammamagalena 

1 Vide Dr. B. M. Barua's interesting paper on the Bhabra 
Edict, J.R.A.S., 1915, 805 ff. and Dr. Max Walleser's thoughtful 
paper on this edict, Das Edikt Von Bhabra (Materialism Zur 
Kunde des Buddhismus, Leipzig, 1923). 

326 A History of Pali Literature 

The style of composition and the subject of 
discussion which we notice here, resemble those of 
the Kathavatthu and the Samanfiaphala Suttanta 
of the Digha Nikaya (Vol. I) respectively. 

Both the Kathavatthu and the Milinda Panha 
are very interesting books of con- 
Historical con- troversial apologetics. The differ- 
nection between ences between them are just as 

the Kathavatthu i . A / \ p ?i TP 

and the Milinda one might expect (a) from the dit- 
Pafiha. ference of date, and (6) from the fact 

that the controversy in the older book 
is carried on against a member of the same commu- 
nity, whereas in the Milinda we have a defence of 
Buddhism as against the outsider. The Katha- 
vatthu is regarded as a work of Asoka's time (3rd 
cent. B.C.). There were different Buddhist sects 
in the time of Asoka. There was every chance that 
Theravadism might disappear. So the council was 
held under the patronage of Asoka and under the 
presidency of Moggaliputta Tissa Thera. After the 
council was over, Moggaliputta composed the Katha- 
vatthu in which he refuted the views of other 
Buddhist sects. The Milinda has been placed 
between 100 and 200 of the Christian era. 
Mr. Trenckner says that our text can scarcely be 
older than the first century A.D., but it may be 
younger. There is, however, a limit which cannot 
be passed. It is older than the beginning of the 
fifth century A.D. for it is quoted by Buddhaghosa. 
The book consists of the discussion of a number of 
points of Buddhist doctrine treated of in the form of 
conversations between King Milinda and Nagasena 
the Elder. These are not real conversations. The 
questions raised, or dilemmas stated, which are 
put into the mouth of the king, are really invented 
for the solutions which are put into the mouth of 
Nagasena. It is likely that the questions which 
have been discussed in the Milinda agitated the 
Buddhist community as like questions did in the 
time of Asoka. 

There are a number of points raised in Tissa's 

Canonical Pali Literature 327 

discussions, which are also discussed by the author 
of the Milinda. In every instance the two authors 
agree in their views, Nagasena in the Milinda is 
always advocating the opinion which Tissa puts 
forward as that of the Theravadins. This is espe- 
cially the case with those points which Moggaliputta 
thinks of so much importance that he discusses 
them at much greater length than the other. 

His first chapter, for instance, by far the 
longest in his book, is on the question whether, in 
the truest sense of the word, there can be said to be 
a soul. It is precisely this question which forms 
also the subject of the very first discussion between 
Milinda and Nagasena. The thera convinces the 
king of the truth of the orthodox Buddhist view 
that there is really no such thing as a soul in the 
ordinary sense. 

The discussion in the Milinda as to the manner 
in which the Divine Eye (dibba cakkhu) can arise 
in a man, is a reminiscence of the question raised 
in the Kathavatthu as to whether the eye of flesh 
can, through strength of dhamma, grow into the 
Divine Eye. 

The discussion in the Milinda as to how a lay- 
man, who is a layman after becoming an arahat, 
can enter the Order, is entirely in accord with the 
opinion maintained, as against the Uttarapathakas 
in the Kathavatthu. 

The discussion in the Milinda as to whether an 
arahat can be thoughtless or guilty of an offence 
is foreshadowed by the similar points raised in the 

The two dilemmas in the Milinda, especially as 
to the cause of space, may be compared with the 
discussion in the Kathavatthu, as to whether space 
is self-existent. 

The Kathavatthu takes almost the whole of the 
conclusions reached in the Milinda for granted and 
goes on to discuss further questions on points of 
detail. It does not give a description of arahatship 
in glowing terms, but discusses minor points as to 

328 A History of Pali Literature 

whether the realisation of arahatship includes the 
fruits of the three lower paths, or whether all the 
qualities of an arahat are free from the asavas or 
sins, or whether the knowledge of his emancipation 
alone makes a man an arahat, or whether the 
breaking of the fetters constitutes arahatship, or 
whether the insight into the arahatship suffices to 
break all the fetters, and so on. 

Puggalapannatti. The Puggalapannatti or the 
Prajnapti-pada is the fourth book of the Abhi- 
dhamma Pitaka. Rev. Richard Morris, M.A., LL.D., 
has edited this work for the P.T.S., London. This 
book has been translated into English for the 
P.T.S., London, by Dr. B. C. Law known as the 
Designation of Human Types and into German 
by Nyanatiloka, under the name of Das Bitch der 
charaktere, published in Breslau in 1911. The 
Puggalapannatti throws some light on several obscure 
Buddhist terms and phrases. Nothing is known 
definitely as to the date of this work. It can be 
said with certainty that it was written after the 
nikayas. The following are the topics discussed in 
this book : 

(1) six designations, 

(2) grouping of human types by one, 

(3) grouping of human types by two, 

(4) grouping of human types by three, 

(5) grouping of human types by four, 

(6) grouping of human types by five, 

(7) grouping of human types by six, 

(8) grouping of human types by seven, 

(9) grouping of human types by eight, 

(10) grouping of human types by nine, 

(11) grouping of human types by ten. 

c Puggala ' means an individual or a person as 
opposed to a group or multitude or class. It also 
means a person ; in later Abhidhamma literature it 
is equal to character or soul (vide P.T.S. Dictionary, 

According to the Buddhists an individual has 

Canonical Pali Literature 329 

no real existence. The term " Puggala " does not 
mean anything real. It is only sammutisacca 
(apparent truth) as opposed to paramatthasacca 
(real truth). A Puggalavadin's view is that the 
person is known in the sense of a real and ultimate 
fact, but he is not known in the same way as other 
real and ultimate facts are known (Points of Con- 
troversy, pp. 8-9). He or she is known in the sense 
of a real and ultimate fact, and his or her material 
quality is also known in the sense of a real and 
ultimate fact. But it cannot truly be said that the 
material quality is one thing and the person another 
(Points of Controversy, pp. 14-15), nor can it be 
truly predicated that the person is related or absolute, 
conditioned or unconditioned, eternal or temporal, 
or whether the person has external features or 
whether he is without any (Points of Controversy, 
p. 21). One who has material quality in the sphere 
of matter is a person, but it cannot be said that 
one who experiences desires of sense in the sphere 
of sense-desire is a person (Ibid., p. 23). The genesis 
of the person is apparent, his passing away and 
duration are also distinctively apparent, but it 
cannot be said that the person is conditioned (Ibid., 
p. 55). 

Pannatti means ' notion, designation, etc.' 
It means what the mind both conceives and renders 
articulate (Expositor, Vol. II, p. 499, n. 3). It is 
stated in the Compendium of Philosophy that it is 
twofold according as it is known (Pafinapiyatlti) 
or as it makes things known (pannapetiti). Accord- 
ing to the Puggalapafinatti commentary, pannatti 
means ' explanation ', * preaching ', ' pointing out ', 
' establishing ', ' showing ', and * exposition '. There 
are, it says, six pafifiattis. These amount to so 
many (a) designations, (b) indications, (c) expositions, 
(d) affirmations, and (e) depositions (pafinapana, 
desana, pakasana, thapana, and nikkhipana). All 
these are the meanings of pannatti. According to 
the commentarial tradition, Puggalapanfiatti means 
' pointing out ', ' showing ', * expositions ', ' establish- 

330 A History of Pali Literature 

ing ', and deposition of persons or it may also mean 
' notion ' or * designation ' of types of persons. 
At the outset, the author classifies the pannatti 
or notion into group (khandha), locus (ayatana), 
element (dhatu), truth (sacca), faculty (indriya), 
and person (puggala). Of these six, the last one is 
the subject-matter of this work. Mr. S. Z. Aung in 
his Introductory Essay while discussing the word 
pannatti has shown that this word might be used 
for both name and notion (or term and concept) 
(Compendium of Philosophy, p. 264). It is interest- 
ing to note that the author of the Puggalapaiinatti 
follows the method of the Anguttara Nikaya. Not 
only in the treatment of the subject-matter but also 
as regards materials, the compiler owes a good deal 
to the Sangiti of the Digha Nikaya and to the 
Anguttara Nikaya. 

At the outset, a matika or a table of contents 
has been given which in a nutshell speaks of the 
different chapters that are to follow. The first chapter 
deals at length how and in what way the six pafinattis 
(designations) are manifested. But in the treatment 
of puggala a long list of different types is given 
according as one is a sekha (learner), an arahat 
(one who is emancipated), paccekabuddha (individual 
Buddha), sammasambuddha (Exalted Buddha), 
saddhanusari (one who follows faith), dhamma- 
nusar! (one who follows dhamma), sotapanna (one 
who has attained the first stage of sanctification), 
sakadagami (one who has attained the second 
stage of sanctification), anagami (one who has 
attained the third stage of sanctification), or an 
arahant (saint). In this way fifty different types 
are stated in it. 

In the second chapter a class of persons has 
been considered to have acquired two qualities so 
that he may be known, e.g., as one who is both 
angry as well as an enemy or who is both idle and 
unscrupulous, slothful and sensuous, etc. There 
are in this way twenty-six different types. 

The third chapter describes a type of beings 

Canonical Pali Literature 331 

according to three qualities. It deals with those 
persons who defy the silas or moral conduct, who 
are not observers of celibacy as also all those who 
actually do so. It includes all those who are free 
from asavas or sins and those who are speakers of 
truth, those who are so blind as not to see kusala 
and akusala states. It also includes persons who 
are not to be served, not to be worshipped, and 
not to be adored as well as those who ought to be 
done so. It includes persons who are teachers. 

The fourth chapter includes persons who are 
good men and saints as well as those who are not so.. 
There are four types of Dhammakathikas (preachers 
of dhamma). There are four kinds of persons who 
are like clouds, who though speak loudly but do 
not act accordingly, while others do not act 
accordingly and speak less. This chapter closes 
with an exhaustive treatment of persons who are 
lustful, self-seeking as well as those who devote their 
lives for others and with persons who are still evil- 
minded and having attachment. 

The fifth chapter treats of the persons who 
act or do not act and are or are not remorseful, 
and who do not know when and how kusala and 
akusala dhammas disappear, etc. There are five 
types of persons : (1) those who hold in contempt 
all those whom they give, (2) those who hold in 
contempt all those with whom they live, (3) those 
who are in gaping mouth at the praise and blame 
of the people, (4) those who have low pursuits, and 
(5) those who are dull and stupid. 

In the sixth chapter, six types of persons are 
described. There are three types of persons who 
even though they have not heard the doctrine 
before, obtain ominiscience and fruition thereof, put 
an end to suffering in this very existence and attain 
the perfection of discipleship and remove suffering 
in this existence and become non-returners 
thoroughly understanding truths by thei] 
efforts. There are also three types of 
corresponding to those above, who do 

332 A History of Pali Literature 

omniscience and the fruition thereof, put an end 
to suffering but do not obtain the perfection of 
discipleship, and do not remove suffering but be- 
come once-returners. 

The seventh chapter deals with seven types of 
persons : those who are in touch with akusala 
dhamma suddenly float or sink as if in water or 
cross over to the other banks or pass over to both 
the banks of the sea of life. This metaphor refers 
to the life of a man. 

In the eighth chapter we find that the eight 
types of people are those who are in the four stages : 
Sotapatti, Sakadagami, Anagami, and Arahats, as 
well as the four of those who are in the stage of 

The ninth chapter deals with nine types of 
people, e.g., those who are all wise, those who are 
yet to be Buddhas, those who are free both ways, 
whose wisdom is free, whose body is pure, who have 
attained purity in thought, freedom in faith, follow 
the dhammas and become faithful. 

In the tenth or the last chapter we find that 
there are five persons who are accomplished, who 
though they live in this world yet by strenuous 
effort attain to the highest stage of perfection. 
There are further five classes included in the ten 
classifications of persons, e.g., such persons as have 
got too early parinibbana before the prime of life 
in a brahmana world, and those who have risen to a 
stage of Anagami as well as those who never return. 

Dhdtukathd. The Dhatukatha or the Dhatu- 
kaya-pada of the Sarvastivada school is the fifth 
book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. It means * talk on 

elements' as Mrs. Rhys Davids puts it in her book 
* A Manual of Buddhism ', p. 28. E. R. Gooneratne 
has edited this work for the P.T.S., London. It 
can hardly be regarded as an independent treatise, 
its purpose being to serve as a supplement to the 
Dhammasangani. It fully discusses the mental 
characteristics most likely to be found in conjunction 
with converted and earnest folk. It treats of the 

Canonical Pali Literature 333 

five khandhas (aggregates) : rupa, vedana, safina, 
samkhara, and vinnana ; twelve ayatanas (abodes) : 
cakkhu, sota, ghana, jihva, kaya, rupa, sadda, 
gandha, rasa, photthabba, mana, and dhamma ; 
eighteen dhatus (elements) : cakkhu, sota, ghana, 
jihva, kaya, rupa, sadda, gandha, rasa, photthabba, 
cakkhuvifmana, sotavinnana, ghanavinfiana, jihva- 
vinnana, kayavinnana, mano, manovinnana, and 
dhamma, four satipatthanas (recollections), mindful- 
ness as regards body (kaya), thought (citta), feeling 
(vedana), and mind-states (dhamma) ; four truths 
(sacca) : dukkha (suffering), samudaya (origin of 
suffering), magga (the way leading to the destruc- 
tion of suffering), nirodha (the destruction of 
suffering) ; four jhanas (stages of meditation 
pathama, dutiya, tatiya, catuttha) ; five balas 
(potentialities) : saddha (faith), viriya (energy), sati 
(mindfulness), samadhi (concentration), and panna 
(insight) ; seven bojjhangas (elements of knowledge) : 
sati (recollection), dhamma vicaya (investigation of 
the Norm), viriya (energy), piti (satisfaction), 
passaddhi (equanimity), samadhi (rapt concentra- 
tion), upekkha (indifference) ; the Noble Eightfold 
Path : sammaditthi (right view), sammasamkappo 
(right aim), sammavaca (right speech), samma- 
kammanto (right action), samma-ajivo (right living), 
sammavayamo (right exertion), sammasati (right 
mindfulness), and sammasamadhi (right concentra- 
tion). It also treats of the senses of suffering, 
delight, faith, energy, recollection, concentration, 
attachment, sins, consciousness, excellent dhamma 
(law), kusala dhamma (merits), akusala dhamma 
(demerits), rupavacara and arupavacara dhammas, 

Yamaka. The Yamaka (" The Pairs-book ") or 
the Prakaranapada of the Sarvastivada school is the 
sixth book of the Abhidhamma Pitaka. The P.T.S., 
London, under the able editorship of Mrs. Rhys 
Davids has published an edition of the work in two 
volumes. Mrs. Rhys Davids was assisted by Mary C. 
Foley and Mabel Hunt in editing the first volume ; 

334 A History of Pali Literature 

while in editing the second volume she was helped 
by C. Dibben, Mary C. Foley, Mabel Hunt, and May 
Smith. Ledi Sadaw has written an excellent 
dissertation on the Yamaka published by the P.T.S., 
London, in 1913. Matters of psychological, ethi- 
cal, and eschatological interest are noticeable 
throughout the work. Mula Yamaka deals with 
kusaladhamma and akusaladhamma and their roots. 
Khandha Yamaka deals with five khandhas (aggre- 
gates), e.g. riipa, vedana, sanna, sahkhara, and 
vinfiana. Ayatana Yamaka deals with the twelve 
ayatanas, e.g., cakkhu, sota, ghana, jihva, kaya, 
rupa, etc. Dhatu Yamaka deals with the eighteen 
dhatus or elements. Sacca Yamaka treats of four 
noble truths. Samkhara Yamaka deals with three 
samkharas. Anusaya Yamaka treats of the anusayas 
(inclinations), e.g., kamaraga (passion for sensual 
pleasures), patigha (hatred), ditthi (false view), 
vicikiccha (doubt), mana (pride), bhavaraga (passion 
for existence), and avij ja (ignorance). Citta Yamaka 
deals with mind and mental states. Dhamma 
Yamaka deals with kusala and akusala dhamma. 
Indriya Yamaka deals with the twenty-two indriyas. 
Patthdna. The Patthana 1 (Book of Causes) 
or the Jnana-prasthana of the Sarvastivada school 
is the seventh or the last book of the Abhidhamma 
Pitaka. Mrs. Rhys Davids has edited the volume 
for the P.T.S., London. The book consists of three 
divisions : eka, duka, and tlka. The twenty-four 
paccayas or modes of relations between things 
(dhamma) are so many patthanas. They are 
enumerated in the Paccayavibhangavara of the 
Tikapatthana, pt. I, as follows : 

1. Hetupaccaya (condition, causal relation), 

2. Arammanapaccaya (object presented in 


3. Adhipatipaccaya (dominance), 

1 Buddhaghosa offers three alternative meanings of the word 
a. Patthana means paccaya or something analysed or an 
-established procedure. 

Canonical Pali Literature 335 

4. Anantarapaccaya (contiguity), 

5. Samanantarapaccaya (immediate conti- 


6. Sahajatapaccaya (co-nascence), 

7. Annamanfiapaccaya (reciprocity), 

8. Nissayapaccaya (dependence), 

9. Upanissayapaccaya (suffering depend- 


10. Purejatapaccaya (antecedence), 

11. Pacchajatapaccaya (consequence), 

12. Asevanapaccaya (habitual recurrence), 

13. Kammapaccaya (action), 

14. Vipakapaccaya (result), 

15. Aharapaccaya (support), 

16. Indriyapaccaya (control, faculty), 

17. Jhanapaccaya (meditation), 

18. Maggapaccaya (path, means), 

19. Sampayuttapaccaya (association), 

20. Vippayuttapaccaya (dissociation), 

21. Atthipaccaya (presence), 

22. Natthipaccaya (absence), 

23. Vigatapaccaya (abeyance), and 

24. Avigatapaccaya (continuance). 

The entire patthana is devoted first to an 
enquiry into these twenty-four ways in which X 
is paccaya to Y, secondly into illustrating how in 
things material or mental each kind of paccaya and 
groups of paccayas originate. Some of the paccayas 
are hetu (cause), arammana (object presented to 
mind), adhipati (lord), and so on. 





The Sarvastivada School of Buddhism recognises 
and holds as authoritative seven Abhidhamma 
treatises which have nothing in common with the 
seven texts of the Pali Abhidhamma Pitaka except 
as to their total number. All these seven treatises, 
called padas, are preserved in Chinese translations 
and are altogether lost in their original. The 
Indian originals of these treatises, so far as one 
can ascertain, were written in Sanskrit. In the 
Sarvastivada set of seven treatises, the highest 
place in importance is accorded to the Jnanapras- 
thana shastra of Katyayaniputra in the same way 
that in the Pali set similar importance is attached 
to the seventh book called the Patthana or Maha- 
pakarana or the great treatise. For the parallels to 
the Sarvastivada treatises the Pali Abhidhamma 
Pitaka is not certainly the place to make the search. 
Strangely enough, the available Pali counterparts of 
all these treatises are embodied in the Sutta Pitaka 
and pass as suttanta texts. On a careful examina- 
tion of the contents of these Pali counterparts it 
appears, however, that they represent a step in 
advance from the general bulk of the suttas and as 
a matter of fact form a link of transition between the 
Pah suttas and the Abhidhamma books. 

The principal Abhidhamma treatise of the 
Sarvastivada school is, as noted above, Katyayam- 
putra's Jnanaprasthana Sastra to which there are 
six supplements called ' Padas '. The seven Abhi- 
dhamma works are as follows : 

(1) Jnanaprasthana byAryakatyayamputra. The 
author is one of the famous Sarvastivada teachers and 

Seven Abhidhamma Treatises 337 

lived in Kashmere three hundred years after the 
parinibbana of the Buddha. The work was translat- 
ed into Chinese in 383 A.D., by a Kashmirian monk 
named Gautama Samghadeva. The second word of 
the title Prasthana corresponds to Patthana in Pali. 
Hence Kern was led to believe that the two works 
were probably related to each other. Dr. Barua 
has tried to convince us with some cogent reasons 
that although the arrangements of topics differ, the 
topics treated of in the Jiianaprasthana Shastra 
and the Pali Patisambhidamagga are almost the 
same. The final decision of this point is to be 
waited for till we have the complete English transla- 
tion of the Chinese version of the Jnanaprasthana 
Shastra to enable us to make a thorough comparison 
between the contents of the two texts. 

The whole work is divided into eight books. 
The first book deals with the Lokuttara-dhamma- 
vaggo, Sfana-vaggo, Puggala-vaggo, Ahirikanot- 
tappa-vaggo, Rupa-vaggo, Anattha-vaggo, Cetana- 
vaggo, and a vaggo on love and reverence. In the 
Lokuttara-dhamma-vaggo the following questions 
are raised : what is the Lokuttara-dhamma ? to 
what category does it belong ? Why is it the 
highest in the world ? In this vaggo the relation 
of the Lokuttara-dhamma to twenty-two Sakkaya- 
ditthis is also discussed. In the Nana-vaggo, the 
cause of knowledge, memory, doubt, six causes of 
stupidity by the Buddha, cessation of the causes, 
etc., are discussed at length. In the Puggala- 
vaggo the question at issue is how many of the 
twelve Paticcasamuppadas l belong to the past, 
present, and future Puggala. It also deals with the 
question of final liberation. The Ahirikanottappa- 
vaggo deals with ahirika (shamelessness), anottappa 
(fearlessness of sinning), akusalamula (the increasing 
demerits), etc. In the Rupa-vaggo it is said that 
the rupadhamma going through birth and death 

1 Mrs. Rhys Davids has ably discussed this subject in 
Hastings' Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics. 


338 A History of Pali Literature 

is impermanent. The Anattha-vaggo says that all 
the practices of austerity are in vain, for the things 
desired cannot be secured. The Cetana-vaggo deals 
with thinking, reflecting, awakening (vitakka), 
observing (vicara), unsettled mind (uddhaeca), ignor- 
ance (avijja), arrogance (mana), hardness of heart, 
etc. The vaggo on love and reverence deals with 
respect out of love (pema), respect out of honour 
(garava), two sorts of honour (garava), wealth 
(dhana), and religion (dhamma), strength of the 
body, nirvana, the ultimate end, etc. The second 
book deals with the bond of human passions. It 
explains demerits (akusalamula), 3 samyojanas 
(bonds or fetters), 5 views, 9 samyojanas, 98 anusayas 
with their details, scopes, and results ; sakadagamin 
(those who come but once) and the germs of passions 
still left in the Sakadagamins. It also deals with 
moral defilements arising in men from views and 
from practices, 4 fruits of samaiina, death and 
rebirth, and regions having no rebirth. It then 
explains causes of moral defilements, single cause 
and double cause ; order of various thoughts and 
thought connected with indriyas ; knowledge that 
can destroy the causes (prahana-parijna) and realisa- 
tion of the destruction (mrodha-saksatkara). The 
third book deals with sekha and asekha ; five kinds 
of views, right and wrong ; the knowledge of another's 
mind (paracittanana) ; the cultivation of knowledge, 
and knowledge attained by the ariya-puggalas. The 
fourth book explains wicked actions, erroneous 
speech, injury to living beings (himsa), demons- 
trable and undemonstrable, and actions bearing the 
selfsame results. The fifth book deals with pure 
organs (indriyas), conditions of the combination 
of elements, visible truth and internal products. 
The sixth book explains the twenty-two indriyas, 
all forms of becoming (bhava), sixteen kinds of 
touch, primal mind and mind that is primarily 
produced. It also explains whether the faculties 
of organs are conditioned by the past. The seventh 
book deals with all conditions of the past, medita- 

Seven Abhidhamma Treatises 339 

tions on causes and conditions in the dhyana heavens, 

ten forms of meditation (kasinayatana), eight kinds 

of knowledge, three forms of samadhi, five states of 

anagamins, and states of the sakadagamins. The 

eighth book deals with (2) Sangltl Parydya by Mdha- 

Kausfhila. According to the Chinese authorities 

the work is attributed to Sariputra himself, but 

Yasomitra, a Sarvastivada teacher, attributes it to 

Maha-Kausthila who was a Sarvastivada teacher of 

great fame. The work was translated into Chinese 

by Hiuen Tsang in the middle of the 7th century A.D. 

By an analysis of the work Prof. Takakusu has 

established its correspondence with the Sangiti Sutta 

of the Digha Nikaya. The arrangements in both 

the works are similar. The order in the Pali texts, 

however, is more cumbrous and thus it is evident 

that the Sarvastivada Abhidhamma text is anterior 

to the Pali one. This work deals with eka-dharmas 

(all beings living on food, etc.), dvi-dharmas (mind 

and matter nama-rupa), tri-dharmas (three akusala- 

mulas ; three kusalamulas ; three duscaritas kaya, 

vak, manas ; three dhatus ; three pudgalas ; three 

vedanas ; three vidyas, etc.), catur-dharmas (four 

aryasatyas ; four Sramanyaphalas ; four Smrtyupa- 

sthanas, etc.), panca-dharmas (five skandhas ; five 

sorts of attachments to nativity, home, love, luxury, 

religion ; five balas ; five indriyas ; five gatis ; five 

mvaranas, etc.), sad-dharmas (six vijnanakayas ; 

six vedanakayas ; six dhatus ; six abhijrias ; six 

anuttara dharmas, etc.), sapta-dharmas (seven 

sambodhyangas ; seven anusayas ; seven dhanas ; 

seven adhikaranasamathadharmas, etc.), asta- 

dharmas (eight arya-margas ; eight pudgalas ; eight 

vimuktis ; eight lokadharmas, etc.), nava-dharmas 

(nine abodes of beings sattvavasas), and dasa- 

dharmas (ten krtnayatanas ; ten asaiksa-dharmas). 

(3) Prakaranapdda by Sthavira Vasumitra. 

Vasumitra was one of the greatest teachers of the 

Sarvastivada school and was a contemporary of 

Kanishka. This work treats of the five dharmas 

(rupa, citta, caittadharma, citta-viprayukta-sams- 

342 A History of Pali Literature 

dhatu ; seven bodhyangas ; twenty-two indriyas, 
twelve ayatanas, five skandhas ; and twelve pra- 

(7) Prajnapti-ddstra by Arya Maudgalydyana. 
There is nothing in common with the Pali Puggala- 
pannatti but in name. It was translated into 
Chinese by Hiuen Tsang. In this work instruction 
about the world (loka-prajnapti) belonging to the 
Abhidharma-Mahasastra is given. This work treats 
of the seven ratnas of a Cakravartti king ; 32 signs 
of Buddha and Cakravartti king ; the Buddha's 
teaching of three moral defilements raga, dvesa, 
and moha ; trsna (love), a great cause of life ; 
causes of drowsiness, arrogance, wickedness, talkative- 
ness, insufficiency in speech, inability in meditation ; 
difference of mental faculties between the Buddha 
and his disciples ; eight causes of rain ; cause of a 
rainy season, etc. These contents go to show that 
this treatise has a close correspondence with the 
Pali Lakkhana Suttanta of the Digha Nikaya, 
Vol. III. 

Published by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd., 38, Great Russell 

Street, London, W.C. 1, and Printed by P. Knight, 

Baptist Mission Press, Calcutta. 








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